Council leader says sorry for mess

A COUNTRY lane was left blanketed with sharp hedge clippings after a community leader's workers left it in what villagers described as a “terrible mess”.

A COUNTRY lane was left blanketed with sharp hedge clippings after a community leader's workers left it in what villagers described as a “terrible mess”.

Residents complained about the state of the road after farmer Ray Herring, the leader of Suffolk Coastal District Council, cut the hedgerow in Blaxhall Church Road in Tunstall.

Now Mr Herring has made a public apology.

One villager said they had complained to Mr Herring's council and asked for the mess to be cleaned up.


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“It was left in an absolutely terrible mess,” they said.

“People were very worried about driving down the road because you could not see the tarmac at all and they were afraid they could get a puncture.

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“Some of the pieces were up to 5ft long, an inch in diameter and very sharp. It covered a stretch up to about quarter of a mile.

“We know hedges have to be cut but it never used to be done like this. Years ago a man with clippers and a broom would do it in winter and always sweep up as he went along.”

Villagers were concerned the tractor which had carried out the cut had flattened part of the verge and holes dug to alleviate flooding in heavy rain had been squashed or left full of cuttings.

Mr Herring, who farms in the Tunstall area, said the hedges along his field edges were cut at the end of last week. He said he had received a couple of complaints but contractors had cleared up on Saturday with a mechanic sweeper - the earliest he could get it done.

He apologised for the inconvenience to residents.

Part of the problem was that current environmental standards mean hedges had to be cut every two years instead of annually to provide more cover and food for birds and other wildlife.

Mr Herring said: “There had been phenomenal growth in the past two years which meant there was much more to cut than when we used to cut it every year, and the high winds didn't help the job. I endeavoured to have the road swept as soon as I was able.”

Has your community been the victim of someone making a mess? Or fly tipping? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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