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West Suffolk Council blasted after 'forgetting' grass cutting and maintenance on Newmarket's Studlands Park estate




A council has come under fire from residents of a Newmarket estate for not cutting grass or dealing with weeds.

Residents of the town’s Studlands Park estate have said they felt they were in a constant battle to try to get something done and many had reverted to doing work themselves in a bid to keep the area tidy.

“We feel we are a forgotten estate,” said Lynn Walker, who has been resident for 20 years, “and we are not the only ones as there are problems all across Newmarket. We know there has been a pandemic but even before that it was a constant battle to get things done.”

Residents of the town’s Studlands Park estate have said they felt they were in a constant battle to try to get something done and many had reverted to doing work themselves in a bid to keep the area tidy.
Residents of the town’s Studlands Park estate have said they felt they were in a constant battle to try to get something done and many had reverted to doing work themselves in a bid to keep the area tidy.

She added: “Our Council Tax goes up every year and we are told the council is short of manpower, so where does the money go. A lot of residents do cut the grass at the front of their houses, tend shrubs, and pull up weeds. Then these go in the brown bins which we now have to pay for, so we are paying for the council’s green waste to be taken away.”

Mrs Walker said in the estate’s garage block areas, weeds had grown to six feet tall. “At the moment the council sends a man to cut the grass but he is having to do three people’s work and it’s not enough,” she said.

Councillor Michael Anderson, who represents the estate on both the town and district council, has been leading by example, spending hours grass cutting and clearing weeds and brambles. He told a recent town council meeting: “It really is a disgrace and I have complained to the grounds team.”

Cllr Michael Anderson, who represents the estate on both the town and district council, has spent hours grass cutting and clearing weeds and brambles. Picture by Mark Westley.
Cllr Michael Anderson, who represents the estate on both the town and district council, has spent hours grass cutting and clearing weeds and brambles. Picture by Mark Westley.

A spokesman for West Suffolk Council said: “We are currently cutting grass verges and green spaces in Studlands. However, due to difficulties in keeping up with the surge in grass and weed growth over the past few weeks because of the variable and unprecedented weather conditions combined with the challenges in staffing during Covid-19, we have brought in additional resources.

"Our staff are now working hard to bring the situation back to acceptable standards. Council Tax only covers 20 per cent of the cost of all services and West Suffolk Council only gets around 11 per cent of total Council Tax paid.”

He said work was due to be carried out over the next two weeks, including preventing regrowth.

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