A row over who cuts the grass at a car park and viewpoint has left one parish council criticising the Isle of Wight Council.
Residents had complained to Shalfleet Parish Council about the overgrown state of Bouldnor Viewpoint, off the main road into Yarmouth, which the Isle of Wight Council puts down to the current Coronavirus pandemic.
Views obscured by overgrown trees and bushes
One resident said they had seen people sitting on the seats at the viewpoint had their view of the sea obscured by the overgrown trees, bushes and other greenery.
The land at the viewpoint car park is owned and maintained by the Isle of Wight Council but following multiple complaints and requests to the local authority, Shalfleet Parish Council took matters into their own hands and got a contractor to cut the grass.
In its newsletter, the parish council said on occasion the bigger authority does not maintain its property, so the smaller council is left to pick up the bill. It also fears the public is being double charged for the same job.
Cowley: We have had the work done
Cllr Steve Cowley, chair of Shalfleet Parish Council, said the IW Council only does the health and safety maintenance and it is very difficult to get it to do that.
“We have had the work done and the invoice has been forwarded to the Isle of Wight Council for consideration
“These are not financial assets but assets for the community, like the view from the car park. It is an attractive place where people can stop and look at the view.”
Not a one-off
The parish council has said this issue is not a one-off and has happened at other town and parish councils across the Island.
The grass onto the road is cut under the IW Council’s Highways PFI contract and the land around the car park is managed by the council’s countryside team.
IWC: Only cut back ‘when it is felt necessary’
Greenery around the viewpoint is only cut back ‘when it is felt necessary’, said a council spokesperson, and only by volunteers.
The spokesperson also said:
“During the difficult period of the pandemic this grass-cutting hasn’t been commissioned by the Isle of Wight Council, so Shalfleet Parish Council decided to cut this area without informing the Isle of Wight Council.
“The Isle of Wight Council aims to work with town and parish councils, and has agreed to fund these minor works on this occasion but will be discussing a longer-term maintenance plan with the parish council – an agreement similar to other agreements it has with other town and parish councils across the Island.”
This article is from the BBC’s LDRS (Local Democracy Reporter Service) scheme, which OnTheWight is taking part in. Some alterations and additions may be been made by OnTheWight. Ed
Image: © Google Maps/Streetview