For 60 years since it was built, our estate has had nice grass verges dotted with trees – many with cherry blossoms that make a pretty picture in early May. For 60 years these verges have been reasonably well maintained by the local council with the infrequent appearance of increasingly large mowers and strimmers.
Just recently, all the trees and lampposts appear to have been circled with weedkiller, so that each is surrounded by a circle of bare earth – not only unsightly but also with possible unanticipated side effects on the health of the trees themselves, local dogs and drainage.
Now, no doubt this is a ‘cost saving’ measure inspired by the pressure council budgets are under because of the now 6+ years of ‘austerity’. Going round with weedkiller once a year is cheaper than going round with a strimmer several times. Yet no doubt there are people who would be happy to have the job.
This is yet another example where our political/economic system just is not producing the right answer. Aesthetics, environment and people all sacrificed to the god of money. It would appear that impossible choices are being forced onto local councils by central government.