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Birmingham City Council laying slow-growing grass to save money on mowing

Specialist turf only needs cutting every four to six weeks, instead of the standard two to three-week period

A gardener cuts the grass at Cannon Hill Park in Birmingham.

Not even the grass in Birmingham’s parks is immune from cost-cutting, the cash-strapped city council has confirmed.

The authority is now set to lay slow-growing turf in a bid to save money on mowing costs.

Low-maintenance varieties of grass will be used in areas of parkland needing reseeding, meaning it will need cutting every four to six weeks, rather than the standard two to three-week period.

Council leader Sir Albert Bore (Lab, Ladywood) said the specialist turf had already been tested in part of Kings Heath Park.

“As and when areas of park need re-seeding we will use slow-growth varieties.”

Other cost cutting proposals revealed include:

  • Encouraging more commercial activity in parks, from sponsorship of flower beds to hosting events and opening shops and cafes.
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  • Making better use of volunteers and Friends of parks groups.            
  • Ensuring more parks charge for parking.

The suggestions were outlined in a city council document examining cost-cutting proposals in services including libraries, housing services,public health and youth centres.

For the first time the council admitted that some of its 39 community libraries could close.

They could be run by volunteers or forced to share buildings with schools, universities, youth clubs, health centres or community centres, the document said.

Two years ago 17,000 teenagers signed a petition against youth centre closures and council chiefs can expect more protests if they come under renewed threat.

But Sir Albert insisted services, rather than buildings, were important.

“If we can find a different
way of providing services, or another group is already doing that, there is a possibility some buildings will close,” he explained.

Excluding council housing and roads, the council owns some 3,900 properties worth an estimated £4.8 billion.

 

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