Last week I was walking around town and was disturbed to see how overgrown the parks and general public areas were, and wondered what any visitors would have thought as they passed through or stopped for a spell. At one time I was a greenkeeper and know that this is the peak growth period of the year, but it’s also leading into the busy season and our Council has to be ready for this.
In contrast it seemed that the coastal areas were not to any great extent as overgrown in the public areas, as evident earlier in the week.
On a slightly similar theme we talked at work about who is responsible for nature strips. Two or three different opinions came forth, all with valid points, but after issues recently dealing with workplace safety and occupational health and safety matters a whole can of worms appears i.e. legally, if whilst in the process of mowing your (Council owned) nature strip you injure person/s, property of even yourself. As one of my workmates said, he found it difficult to understand why you wouldn’t want your strip to look its best and this was one of the few places that council maintains these areas…fair point indeed and as a couple of others said that if an indemnity existed to protect the householder, ratepayer or renter they’d have no issues mowing sometimes largish areas adjacent to their house. Is this the case though?…Is there an indemnity for such work and if not can our council seek to address that? For the record I generally run the mower over the small bit outside my property but given recent pedantic rules and regulations (bordering on insanely ridiculousl over the top rules on less serious risks) it made me wonder more about mowing and the real risks involved with that in a public area.
On the main point though, regarding the parks, Town Hall area and roadside verges not associated with properties, I hope the BODC will try to be a lot more vigilant than of late with this very basic and fundamental service that our rates must surely partially finance. Thankfully in the past few days some of this work is being addressed prior to Christmas…that’s good.
Finally, as this is the last Valley Voice for the year, I’d like to thank Wendy Dawson, our hard working editor, in her first year in the job for being so amazing to deal with. She’s been great.
I hope everyone has a safe and happy Christmas/New Year break, not least Wendy and her fabulous crew, and all things being equal, see you in 2014…
What do you think? Rod McGiveron.