Clydebank residents have urged the council to rethink its recent budget decision on greenspace as grassland across the area begins to grow to an ‘unsightly’ level.

Bugs in the grass such as ticks, which can bring Lyme disease, and dog owners failing to pick up dog dirt have been just some of the fears expressed as West Dunbartonshire Council look to save money by scaling back its greenspace maintenance.

In March, the council passed a budget that slashed services across the local authority area to plug a £14.7 million financial hole, which had already been reduced from £21 million from December last year.

As part of this, an option to reduce the frequency of grass-cutting provision across Clydebank and the wider area was accepted.

Clydebank Post: Concerns are growing much like the grass across the communityConcerns are growing much like the grass across the community (Image: Tom Grant)

Clydebank Post: Mr Murran told how a local young girl was bitten by something whilst playing in the grassMr Murran told how a local young girl was bitten by something whilst playing in the grass (Image: Tom Grant)

This meant grass cutting would be undertaken every four weeks in open spaces, changing from every three weeks, and fortnightly in high amenity areas such as parks and sports fields, a reduction from the previous weekly service provided.

It’s hoped the move would save the council £460,000 but locals are now noticing their parks and open spaces unattended and have pleaded with councillors to revisit the matter.

George Mirren, a retired council worker now living on Thistle Neuk in Old Kilpatrick, told the Clydebank Post he used to be part of the team in charge of cutting the region’s open spaces many years ago and he and his team would never leave the area in the state it currently sits.

He said: “If the schools are off, the weans are all up there.

“Plus, after school time, a lot of the wee ones get kept till about 5pm, until their mothers and fathers come in.

“And there are quite a few of the wee ones playing fitba’ out there.

“Now, the last time we had this carry-on about the park, the lassie along the road there, her wee girl was out in the park running, and when she came back in, she had one of they things on her leg, one of the things that sucks the blood.”

Before adding: “All the years I worked with them, that grass was never even as long as that.

“Because we went round every week.”

Laura Lyon, a Parkhall resident who walks her two dogs in the area, explained she contacted the council’s Greenspace team about the uncut grass, only to be told that as part of the cost-cutting, certain open spaces in Clydebank would see grass cutting ‘cease completely.’

In an email she received which has been seen by the Post, Ms Lyon is told: “To minimise the impact on the visual appearance of these areas they will have a maintained edge around paths and near properties and will be litter picked as required.”

Clydebank Post: The council have said they are only cutting the grass round the edges, like here in Parkhall, to make the place look tidierThe council have said they are only cutting the grass round the edges, like here in Parkhall, to make the place look tidier (Image: Laura Lyon)

But the dog owner hit out at the council, admitting her frustration at what she believes is a lacklustre approach to the issue.

Ms Lyon said: “Overgrown grass causes uptake in bugs, ticks, possible Lyme disease, irresponsible dog owners not cleaning up and children standing in this which can cause health hazards too.

“Clydebank is a poor area, but this makes it look so much worse. Council tax continues to rise so we should be getting a decent service in our area. They never leave Dalmuir Park or the golf course uncut so why not keep the rest looking good.”

A West Dunbartonshire Council spokesperson said: "Following a budget meeting in March when the council had to take steps to close a £21million funding gap, a review of grounds maintenance was undertaken.

“As such, changes to the frequency of grass cutting have been introduced, as well as a reduction to open space cutting, which will save the council £460,000 each year.

"Teams will continue to maintain all open space edges around paths and near properties, and these areas will be litter picked as required.

"A programme to ensure the appearance of these areas is maintained is being developed, with planned planting of specimen trees, flowering bulbs and sowing wildflower seeds."

But Ms Lyon questioned if planting trees and flower beds would save money.

She added: “To make it look better they would be planting trees and wildflowers, which in my opinion would be way more expensive than cutting the remaining grass. I don’t think this will happen; they didn’t reply to my concerns.”

Locals also took to Facebook to blast the current state of the grass across the Clydebank area.

One frustrated resident wrote: “Grass has a couple of strips cut on it, rest of it is left wild, my daughter has already had a tic it's ridiculous, never mind trying to avoid dog poo when you can't see under all the grass.”

Another said: “It’s awful. Looking at the park across from me, (it) has goalposts for kids to play football there is no chance now.”

Another added: "The mess the council leaves is disgusting - cut the grass and leave it.”