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Grass cutting suspended for ‘at least’ four weeks to make ‘best use’ of resources

The Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure said “grass growth has been reduced to such an extent that there is little value in continuing our usual cycle of grass cutting.”

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A statement from West Sussex County Council has revealed ‘urban’ grass cutting in the county will be suspended ‘for at least the next four weeks’.

A press release from the County Council says: “Exceptional, dry weather has had significant impact on the county’s verges. Grass growth has been reduced to such an extent that West Sussex Highways is taking proactive steps to continue to make best use of the available resources.”

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Bob Lanzer, Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure, said:

“With the exceptionally dry weather, grass growth has been reduced to such an extent that there is little value in continuing our usual cycle of grass cutting.

“With this weather likely to continue over the next fortnight, we have decided to suspend the urban grass cutting for at least the next four weeks. Instead, we will utilise that freed-up resource to tackle areas which might otherwise be overlooked.

“Primarily, the focus will be on footpaths in urban areas, known as ‘twittens’, and cutting back on overgrown vegetation which has been reported as a concern.

“The West Sussex Highways team will work closely with the contractor to continually monitor the growth and the grass cutting schedule will be resumed when necessary.”

Two of the grass-cutting crews will finish the rural cut and re-visit any areas identified as having been missed.

West Sussex County Council say they ‘currently cut urban grass maintained at public expense up to seven times per year between March and November’. This is above the nationally-recognised guidance of five cuts in urban areas – providing the highway is safe, there is no statutory requirement to provide a minimum level of grass cutting.

Five cuts is allegedly enough to ‘achieve a reasonable balance between maintaining the street scene and ensuring highway safety’.

A spokesperson from West Sussex County Council said:

“Scheduling grass cutting is a difficult balancing act, as growth is so dependent on seasonal factors, such as rain and sunshine. West Sussex Highways’ aim is to space the cuts so the grass is maintained at a reasonable level.”

Rural grass in the county is cut up to three times per year in the same period (March to November).

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Girls and women across Crawley asked for help to tackle violence and abuse

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The views of women and girls across Crawley are being sought to help shape Government strategy to tackle violence and abuse.

The Government is updating the Violence Against Women and Girls strategy and has launched a nationwide Call for Evidence in order to ensure that those who have lived experiences of abuse and violence, and the views of members of the public, are at the heart of plans to stop these harmful crimes. The Call to Evidence runs until 19th February 2021.

The Government has already taken a number of important steps in this area, including strengthening the law on crimes such as stalking, forced marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM), but there is more to do.

There have already been many responses, shining a sobering light on the prevalence of gender-based violence in our society. This information is also absolutely invaluable in shaping the most effective policy to fight the scourge of Violence Against Women and Girls.

Crawley MP Henry Smith is urging those who have experiences or views to come forward in the final few weeks of the Government’s Call for Evidence, and to take part in the anonymous survey.

This not only includes frontline professionals and academics, victims and survivors, but their families and friends and members of the public in Crawley who have been indirectly affected.

You can participate in the call for evidence by completing the public survey.

Henry said;

“I know it takes a lot of courage for those who have experienced violence and abuse to come forward, but this information is vital in tackling acts of gender-based violence.

“Our strategy needs to reflect the views and experiences of those who have been directly and indirectly affected, in order to stop these harmful and often hidden crimes happening in our society.

“Crimes that disproportionately affect women and girls range from rape and FGM to upskirting and online offences; they can have terrible effects on victims. We want to do all we can to tackle these appalling crimes, through a new strategy to tackle Violence Against Women and Girls.

“With one month to go until the Call for Evidence closes, let’s create a strategy to tackle crimes against women and girls in the 21st century.”

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