Residents complain at failure to clear fallen leaves

Adrian Williams

Adrian Williams

adrianw@baylismedia.co.uk
MAIDENHEAD 134027-16

Some residents have raised concerns about leaves building up on the streets and not being swept away. MaidenheadWootton Way, Maidenhead

Concerns have been raised over the number of leaf collecting on paths in the borough and the potential safety hazard this poses.

Residents noted that they are seeing fewer road clearings in a number of areas, including central Maidenhead, Larchfield, Belmont, and around the Kidwell and Desborough Park areas.

Others have been dissatisfied with the timings of road sweepers – citing occasions when contractors came around early in the morning (6am) while commuting cars were still on the roads, diminishing the effectiveness of the clear-up.

Sweeping leaves from the roads and trimming back grass and hedges is the role of Royal Borough contractors Tivoli – which has been the subject of other concerns, including the overgrowth of grass on verges, parks and cemeteries.

Meanwhile, fallen leaves present new problems. One resident living near Desborough Park has taken to sweeping up the leaves on public paths herself.

“My neighbour and I are sweeping up the leaves in our street to prevent the drains (from) becoming blocked and the road flooding,” said resident Caroline Ki.

A central Maidenhead resident, said Jenny Cottle, said:

“The subway steps at Kidwells Park could prove particularly hazardous to older residents.

“Just one person slipping on wet leaves, injuring themselves, and suing RBWM for compensation is all it will take for them to realise exactly how much of a false economy this is.”

Despite worries that changes in the regime might be due to Royal Borough budget cuts, Cllr David Coppinger (Con, Bray), lead member for environmental services, said there have been none.

Instead he put the delay down to the unpredictable seasonal changes.

“This year, we have had totally different seasons. I’ve never seen anything quite like it – nothing has happened when it should,” he said.

“We have had half the year with nothing (for Tivoli) to do, then twice as much to do for the other half of the year.”

He added that the labour supply shortage has ‘affected virtually everything’.

“But I’m not making excuses for it – we have let down residents,” he said.

Tivoli's performance is set to be discussed at a Communities Overview and Scrutiny meeting on Thursday (November 18).

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  • timow2s

    timow2s

    16:06, 17 November 2021

    Instead he put the delay down to the unpredictable seasonal changes. “This year, we have had totally different seasons. I’ve never seen anything quite like it – nothing has happened when it should,” Um, pretty sure the leaves have been falling every autumn at about this time of year. Not sure why this is such a surprise this time. I've been clearing the leaves outside my property every week for the past month but the cars that race down the road a lot faster than the 30mph limit soon spread the leaves about again from other areas. The uneven and crumbling pavements in Maidenhead are hazardous even when they are free of leaves, with all the bumps and potholes covered it's even more dangerous and there are lots of places where you can't even see where the curb is.

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  • Pursuer

    12:01, 17 November 2021

    How about residents clearing the leaves outside of their homes along with litter as used to be the way of things years back. We clear our frontage area- its pointless waiting for the Borough to act and if it does the ridiculous blowing of leaves from A to B won't be the slightest use. As one operative commented few years back ;I can't help it if the leaves get blown back again by traffic or the wind'.

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