by danielbarker on 7 November, 2019
Liberal Democrats took the fight to green up our streets to November’s meeting of Walsall Council.
Residents have complained that the Council had failed to deal with weeds along roads and footpaths following budget cuts agreed by the all Conservative Cabinet back in February of this year.
At the same time, cuts to the maintenance of grass verges and other green spaces have left many of the main commuter routes across the borough looking like scrub land say Walsall Liberal Democrats. “The Council have done this without proper consultation with local residents and road users.” said Walsall’s Liberal Democrat Group Leader Cllr Ian Shires.
“Frustrated by a lack of a coherent plan to deal with the weeds issue, coupled with a reluctance from the administration to discuss the treatment of verges and grassed areas, we were forced to raise the problem through a series of questions and a Notice of Motion to a meeting of the full Council” added Cllr Shires.
The Notice of Motion sort to ask for officers to review all roads with a view to introducing a proper maintenance plan for verges and grassed areas which would see the introduction of wild flowers. This would not only have the effect of improving the visual effect but would encourage pollinating insects which are vital for the future of our parks, gardens and other green spaces.
Liberal Democrats were also seeking to involve members of the community at an early stage in the consultation process. This would mean that the final plan would represent the wishes of the wider community giving them a sense of ownership which would have long term benefits.
The Conservative Cabinet member for Clean and Green, Cllr Butler (Willenhall North), introduced an amendment to the Lib Dem Notice of Motion which in effect watered down the proposals, limiting them to just two routes initially to be decided by Cllr Butler. Community involvement would not be sought till after the recommendations had been agreed by the Cabinet.
“Unfortunately the Conservatives had the majority when it came to the vote” said Cllr Shires. “But at least by taking the action we did we have concentrated the minds of Cabinet members on dealing with the weeds issue and established a need for properly managed verges, green spaces and introducing wild flower areas” concluded Ian.
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