The local team for Mandeville & Elm Farm have been updating residents about the maintenance of the uncut green areas in Elm Farm Road & Haven Shaw Close. Below are their recent letters.
"As promised in our last newsletter we want to keep you updated on the uncut grass situation in Elm Farm Road and on Haven Shaw Close green. These areas, as you know, are not owned by Aylesbury Vale District Council or Aylesbury Town Council but rather owned by Pelham Holdings Ltd, therefore, ultimately not the responsibility of the two councils but having had AVDC maintain these areas previously for over 40 years we have been trying hard from the outset on your behalf to get the situation resolved. Sadly, having been successful in getting the grass cut at the end of last year we have been told that the agreement reached then would not be carried on this year.
We have been informed by the landowners that they are not going to maintain these areas and they are not willing to pay for someone else to do the task. After talking with AVDC early this year we made approaches to Aylesbury Town Council to see if they could help. The Clerk for the Town Council made sure that this issue went in front of ATC Direct Services committee for discussion. The meeting decided unanimously not to take on responsibility for these areas at the moment and asked if your District Councillors could try again with AVDC. Just to reassure you we have been in regular contact with AVDC from the outset and have been talking direct with the Leader of the Council. We have been told by AVDC officers that the actual costs to cut and maintain these areas are low but they were concerned from an insurance liability point of view regarding the trees etc. The Town Council do cut the grass adjacent to these two areas so we think it might be easier for ATC to undertake this work and your Town Councillors will ask again about this possibility.
We hope you can see we are trying hard to resolve this for you but at the moment it is a standoff unless one of the two Councils can take on the responsibility or another solution can be found.
If we could get the grass cut before the school holidays, it would make such a difference but at the moment no one is willing to take on the responsibility. As and when we know more we will certainly let you know and please know that we are continuing to try and get the situation resolved on your behalf."
This was followed up a week later with:
"Following our letter to you last week we want to give you a further update on the situation with the maintenance of these two areas.
At Aylesbury Town Council meeting on Thursday 12th July Cllr Sue Chapple asked “School holidays are coming—do you not agree that it would be better to cut the green so that children can once again play on it and as we are supposed to be encouraging people to be more active, thereby improving the quality of life for Aylesbury residents? Can I urge you to look very seriously at this situation again please? Can this go back to the Direct Services Committee for reconsideration?”. Following a heated debate across the chamber no direction was agreed upon.
The evening after the meeting (Friday) one of Sue’s colleagues on the Council offered the team the opportunity to use heavy duty machinery to cut these grass areas. After getting agreement from the landowner that this was permissible it was agreed Sue and her colleagues would meet early Saturday 14th July to mow these areas. We would like to thank all the residents who came out and helped at such short notice, the tea & biscuits really did hit the spot after all the hard work (that we are still recovering from). We would like to give a special thanks to Cllrs Chris Adams, Brian Adams and Andy Huxley who arranged for the machinery to be available and worked so hard on a very hot day giving up their time to help Council colleagues when they didn't need to.
On Wednesday 18th July at Aylesbury Vale District Council meeting Sue raised the issue with the relevant Cabinet Member and was informed that at present AVDC will not be returning to maintain these areas. Sue challenged the legal stance with the Cabinet Member and will continue to push for answers.
We are thrilled we were able to do this one-off cut and we will keep working to get a permanent solution to this issue. As soon as we have more information from the legal team we will get back to you."