Strimmers could be used to maintain Yarmouth focal points following weedkiller complaints

Gorleston Cliff Park Schools walk to school day.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLYCOPY:FOR:EDP NEWS© ARCHANT NORFOL

Gorleston Cliff Park Schools walk to school day.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLYCOPY:FOR:EDP NEWS© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2009 (01603 772434) - Credit: © ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHIC

Strimming could be used to maintain grass areas in Great Yarmouth following complaints about weedkiller usage.

In 2016 Great Yarmouth Borough Council agreed to replace strimming with a sprayable treatment in a bid to save £20,000 per year.

But issues with 'heavy-handed' usage of the spray led to the local authority reconsidering its approach.

In June 2016, residents in Gorleston complained after council contractors, GYB Services, sprayed weedkiller on the cliff tops, turning grass brown.

Councillors later requested for more strict supervision on its usage.

But a report going before Yarmouth's environment committee on Wednesday said there were further issues with 'unsightly bald patches' last year.

The report said it was now important to 'strike the right balance' between strimming in appropriate areas and spraying.

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Council officers have recommended for strimming to be used for focal points, including Gorleston cliff tops, while spraying used in less prominent areas.

The report said: '[Last year] high profile areas such as Gorleston cliff tops and Yarmouth seafront were managed by strimming and other areas such as residential streets were controlled using spraying.

'Initial strimming took place to remove the height, with spraying in these areas afterwards. Again, in the majority of areas this appears to have been successful, but there were several instances across the borough of treatment being incorrectly applied which resulted in issues such as unsightly bald patches'

The report said for 2018/19, additional training will be provided to people carrying out the work. Hoods will be fitted on the spray heads to ensure the treatment is only sprayed in a designated area.

A supervisor will also be employed by GYB Services to carry out checks on the work.

A mix of spraying and strimming will cost the council an additional £9,000 per year.

It would cost a further £22,000 per year to just use strimmers.

The report said unsatisfactory grass control could lead to more complaints.

'With the inaugural airshow being held this summer, it is important that great care and attention is taken to maintaining a high standard in all grassed areas across the borough,' the report said.

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