Council pays company £150,000 to measure height of grass

Yet another example of how completely dislocated from reality our “elected representatives” really are…

Via The Telegraph:

Basildon Council, in Essex, says it needs the full nine-month assessment ahead of a re-tendering process next year.

The council has hired Cumbria-based Atlantic Geomatics Ltd to measure the borough’s greenery so that it can specify the height at which it must be mowed, ensuring contract documents offered out to companies, telling them how much land they had to cut, are accurate.

This means that the £150,000 will be spent before the council even pays for a new company to cut its grass.

The re-measuring will take about nine months to complete, and also includes an assessment of what obstacles, such as bollards and pylons, could hinder the new grass cutting efforts. The contract also covers shrubs and hedges.

The town’s opposition Labour group, which opposed the council privatising the service in 2010, has criticised the spending.

Leader Nigel Smith said: “It does sound like a bit of a shambles. We opposed the privatisation of the contract in the first place, and I think we have been proved right.

“It would have been so much better if it was council staff carrying out these jobs.

“£150,000 is a load of money to be paying out on top of a contract to another company afterwards and you need to wonder about the competency of the council.”

The last re-measuring took place in 2008 at a cost of £45,000, but Conservative councillor Kevin Blake said that this wasn’t done properly, and led to issues with the previous English Landscapes contract.

He said: “It’s a lot of money, I make no bones about that, but we’re talking about a huge project here.

“It will go into the fine details rather than a finger in the air job.

“I don’t want to spend £50,000 and then run into problems later down the line. What you pay for is what you get.”

The council said Atlantic Geomatics Ltd has the specialist equipment required to carry out the project, and it is a sophisticated process with the information being recorded and stored electronically.

The council served 61 rectification notices and 40 default notices to English Landscapes in a six-month period shortly after the grass-cutting was privatised.

They took 20 days to cut one area of grass and fell five days behind schedule to do just one lawn in Basildon, Essex.

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One response to “Council pays company £150,000 to measure height of grass

  1. My friend, I do believe that a common ground in the whole Anglo-American Question has been finally met (Kidding, mate..) I hope to god it’s not the fault of our “Urban Planners” that you’re guy’s have decided it’s cool to spend so much Sterling on what I could do for a bag a grass, and a yardstick..We get the same brilliant experts here. A logistic company a few years back, who was supposed to be the apex of Geological analysis etc. were hire out of California to consult on a bridging of the rouge river project on the Coast here. They plotted it out, got the cash started laying the tarmac the Pylons, then the rains came, and moved the pylons, now this is in a remote area where the signs say ” Slide Area, in a canyon, prone to mudslides, since it’s mostly limestone and other loose rock. Needless to say the bridge sticks out and is left dangling after sending another team in who said ” hey You can’t build here the regular seasonal rain will wash this all away”. And The City of Salem, The Capital here, spent 6.5 Mil on the City transit mall and adjacent city planning commission buildings. Two years after opening the transit mall concrete is flaked and pitted and rutted, and the 8 story city buildings are condemned since the foundation has such serious cracks that it’s unsafe, not to mention we are on the Pacific Rim, Volcanic and tectonically active. So they put up a chain link fence and are still trying to figure out what to do. It’s like the old joke my Dad has about his 5,000 Dollar Hammer that he stole when he left the Army, and 4,000 dollar Toilet seats. And they still want to cut social programs for the Poor, and mentally ill, and elderly to ” lower Taxes and Stimulate economic Growth.”

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