Grass cutting grief mounts for SBHA

Scottish Borders Housing Association has been slammed following numerous grass cutting complaints from townspeople.

And despite advertising in the local press last week thanking tenants for their patience with the new grass cutting contractor Land Engineering, local councillors have been swamped with complaints.

The issue was raised at Burnfoot Community Council earlier this week when the grass cutting service was branded “disgraceful’ by chairman Richard Knight, and new ward councillor Watson McAteer revealed that although he had been in the job less than two days he had also received numerous complaints especially from the Silverbuthall area.

Mr Knight added: “The problem is widespread in Burnfoot and seems to be getting no better. This is an absolute disgrace. Parts of this estate were cut five weeks ago and have not been looked at since.”

And council treasurer Jamie Batten said: “I would like to know if the contract provides for picking up litter before they cut because all sorts of litter including bottles and cans have been shredded and left lying amongst clumps of cut grass.”

And west end councillor Davie Paterson says it’s time for SBHA to stop making “feeble excuses”: “I’ve been inundated with complaints about the lack of grass cutting in the town. I, for one, am sick to the back teeth with the feeble excuses that we are getting from SBHA.”

The Hawick News contacted Ayrshire-based Land Engineering on Thursday but were told: “No one is available or in a position to speak about this contract.”

Alan Vass, director of technical services at Scottish Borders Housing Association, said: “Following a recent tendering process for SBHA’s ground maintenance contract we unfortunately fell behind in our grass cutting programme in many of our properties.

“We apologise to our tenants concerned and everyone else affected by this. Land Engineering are working hard on catching up on the current grass cutting programme, and we are updating our website with the areas of grass being cut.

“We would reiterate our apologies to everyone affected by this situation, but we are working with Land Engineering to ensure they catch up and that there are no other issues.”