Town to Take Control of Verges Maintenance

Oundle Town Council has agreed to apply for a license to manage the town’s verges.

Accompanied by a small group of residents at a recent Full Council Meeting, Mr Paul Eveleigh told the council of their concerns about the lack of maintenance of the verges in Oundle. By mid-October the verges had still not been cut after the summer, and growth was rampant and uncontrolled.

Northamptonshire County Council is responsible for the verges, but has only budgeted for three cuts per year. The council’s criterion for maintenance is about safety along the highways, and not about the appearance of the roadsides. The OTC felt that three cuts are clearly inadequate to keep on top of growth.

The OTC agreed that the verges reach unacceptable levels during the height of the growing season. However, health and safety directives mean that it is not possible for the council to recruit volunteers to tackle the problem, and the council’s own maintenance operatives are fully occupied.

The council agreed to make an expenditure of up to £700 to allow for a one-off cut by ENC contractors to take place before the start of winter.

Additionally the council agreed that the town would opt out of the NCC Highways cutting provision and manage the cutting through ENC approved contractors at a cost of £3800 per year. This would provide one cut per month from March to October, compared to the three cuts currently carried out.

It was also agreed to consider the introduction of managed wildlife verges in certain designated areas.