In March 2018, Seaford Town Council was informed of East Sussex County Council’s decision to reduce the frequency of grass cuts from six times a year to two from 2018.
The grass cutting, along with many road and highways services, is outsourced to East Sussex Highways to carry out on behalf of the County Council.
Seaford Town Council’s Role
In the communication of March 2018, an option was given that Seaford Town Council could make up the deficit and fund the four cuts per year not being done by the County Council; this would cost the Town Council in excess of £13,000 per year, the equivalent of 2% increase in the Town Council tax.
Unfortunately, the Town Council adopted its financial budget in January 2018, as required by the billing authority Lewes District Council, for the 2018/19 Financial Year (1st April 2018 – 31st March 2019) and was therefore unable to consider the cost of these grass cuts for the current year. The Town Council has unfortunately not been in a position to include this surplus in its annual budget since then.
Seaford Town Council is however a voice for the local community and did have discussions with the County Council regarding the lack of public consultation and communication, especially given the impact this has had on the town and the local residents.
East Sussex Highways would usually look to have the first cut of the year take place in June, which would take approximately 10 days to complete, and the second cut following in September. The dates for 2020 are not yet known however due to the impact of the covid-19 pandemic and measures.
If members of the public feel that grass verges are causing a highways safety issue, they are requested to report the issue to East Sussex Highways directly. East Sussex Highways will then arrange for the local Highway Steward to assess the area. If it is deemed that the verge is having an impact on highway safety then they may arrange for that verge to be cut sooner than placed.
Members of public can report any concerns online at http://www.eastsussexhighways.com/ or by calling East Sussex Highways on 0345 80 90 193.