Pilton residents take over mowing of grass after three years of neglect

Residents in the Pilton community have taken the maintenance of their green space into their own hands by spending seven hours cutting grass that they feel is the council’s responsibility.

Thursday, 1st August 2019, 1:26 pm
The area has been allowed to overgrow and become unused over the past three years.

Jodie Biggins, 29, told the Evening News that the issue had been ongoing for almost five years when she and her partner moved into their council homes near Pennywell Road.

Jodie and fellow residents say they had agreed with the city council that they would maintain their communal green space if equipment was provided to them instead of signing up to a service charge from the council for maintenance of the area.

Residents said that the council agreed to maintain the space for the first two years and thereafter provide the equipment for maintenance but the equipment never materialised.

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Residents in the Pilton community have taken the maintenance of their green space into their own hands

The area has been allowed to overgrow and become unused over the past three years.

Mrs Biggins said: “We tried to rectify the situation by meeting with the council to see if anything could be done. We went to them saying we had been quoted £60 for work every two weeks by a local gardening company. However only 10 out of 35 residents in our direct community responded about paying for it. Unfortunately the council then responded to ourselves saying that their provider would charge £1,000. That is just not manageable.”

She added: “We were happy to maintain our own space if the equipment was provided. We were promised a fund and tools to develop our green space when we took the house. Even if we do maintain the space, where will all the garden waste go with this new brown bin charge? No one would listen so we just decided to take action ourselves.”

A spokesperson For local tenants Group TRIM & friends of West Pilton said: “Again it’s very disappointing that our council fail to provide basic services to our community. It is like we are going back in time, North Edinburgh is often like a forgotten community.

“We are proud that residents completed the grass cutting themselves, as this allowed many local children to use the area to play safely.”

A City of Edinburgh Council spokesperson said: “We are making arrangements to meet with residents shortly to agree a long-term solution regarding the issue of grass maintenance in West Pilton Crescent.”