A Kettering councillor says residents are having to stump up extra cash because trees are not being maintained properly. Opposition leader Cllr Mick Scrimshaw (Lab) has raised concerns shared with him by residents in Tennyson Road.
He says trees in the street are not being maintained properly and need trimming, causing problems with dead leaves blocking gutters forcing residents to pay for them to be cleared.
Cllr Scrimshaw said: “If we are to have trees in residential streets, and I am pleased we do as they do add benefits to the local environment, they need to be maintained properly.
“It is clear that the current trimming regime is not adequate and I hope to discuss with the council how often they actually need to be done, and once this is established whether there are ways to changing the current policy to allow this to happen.
“In these times of austerity I fully understand why the council may choose to delay regular trimming as a cost saving measure but if that is the case the public deserve to know this decision has been taken, and I hope to be able to at least get confirmation of this and understand the implications.
“Once we fully understand the situation it is then the duty of councillors to see if there is anything to be done to improve the service.”
After Kettering Council voted for its own abolition last week, a new unitary authority for north Northamptonshire looks likely to be set up by 2020. Cllr Scrimshaw added that it is vital the services people in Kettering require are known and discussed with future partners.
He said: “As we move towards having a new unitary council dealing with these day-to-day matters across the whole of north Northamptonshire it is important for Kettering to understand exactly what sort of service our residents require on issues like this and things like street cleaning and park maintenance, so we are ready to have wider discussions with our partners.
“I have long been of the opinion that it is the small services that residents take for granted that add to the lives of local residents.
“If a council can’t get those things right, what chance do they have about some of the other things?”
A Kettering Council spokesman said: “Kettering Council have not reduced tree maintenance. “Northamptonshire County Council continue to pay for safety works and Kettering Council undertake a proactive tree works program where most avenues are pruned every four years.”