East Lancs villagers making cuts of their own

With the new mower are East Ribble Freemasons district chairman, David Lightbown with Belthorn Committee vice-chair Collette Riding and back, from left, Gary Riding, Paul Carroll, Nick Parker and charity stewards Mick Stubbs and Ian Johnson

With the new mower are East Ribble Freemasons district chairman, David Lightbown with Belthorn Committee vice-chair Collette Riding and back, from left, Gary Riding, Paul Carroll, Nick Parker and charity stewards Mick Stubbs and Ian Johnson

First published in News Blackburn Citizen: Photograph of the Author by , Hyndburn reporter

RESIDENTS in Belthorn fed up with council cuts to services are to take matters into their own hands.

Volunteers in the village have been given more than £450 by East Ribble Freemasons to fund a petrol mower so they can make cuts of their own - to the ‘overgrown’ grass in the area.

Belthorn county councillor Peter Britcliffe, said he had mixed feelings about the move.

He said: “It’s good, but on the other hand the council seem to be struggling, despite getting £1.2 million extra funding from the Government.

“Having said that, I’m delighted the charity has provided this. Residents in Belthorn are very proud of their village and are happy to keep it tidy.

Paul Thompson ward councillor for St Oswald’s, which covers part of Belthorn, said: “It’s terrible the way the grass is being cut.

“It’s absolutely brilliant what the residents are doing.”

The specialist mower will cut grass in difficult to reach places, even where there’s no electricity available and will be used by volunteers at the village hall.

It has been funded by the East Lancashire Masonic Charity Community Fund.

Portfolio holder for education, leisure and arts at Hyndburn Council, Ken Moss, said: “Neither I nor the council are aware of any complaints from Belthorn but applaud residents for working to maintain the green areas to an even higher standard.

“Coun Britcliffe is keen to emphasise the grant from the Government but fails to point out the £9m of cuts we have already endured and I believe that our parks department is doing a good job.”

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