Outrage as Bucks County Council admits it only cut grass because of royal wedding

Bucks County Council prioritised grass cutting near Cliveden House after learning Meghan Markle would be spending the night in the luxury hotel before the royal wedding, it has emerged.
Cliveden HouseCliveden House
Cliveden House

The council has been criticised for cutting grass in an area near the hotel in Taplow, on the Bucks/Berks border.

The move has been slammed by a local councillor who says “dangerous” overgrown footpaths regularly used by schoolchildren in his rural ward are yet to be tackled by council teams.

The complaint is just one of a series of criticisms over the state of green spaces and roadsides– as the arrival of spring has seen overgrown grass take over the county.

At a meeting of the county council’s transport, environment and communities select committee held yesterday (Tuesday) Cllr Dev Dhillon was assured the first grass cuts of the year are still being carried out, however rural roads are rationed to one cut a year, while areas within the 30 to 40mph speed limit have four.

Cllr Dhillon, who represents Cliveden, said: “I was in a parish meeting and we were told the grass cut team was in my division.

“However we were very disappointed the only grass cut was done on Bath Road because of the royal wedding and the Duchess of Sussex was staying in Cliveden House Hotel.

“Now if you go on some of the roads they are really hazardous and dangerous for the kids who are going to school in rural areas.

“We are in the middle of the summer now and we have not even had the first cut.

“The fact that the only cut in my division has been for the temporary look for the Duchess of Sussex is really appalling.”

Cabinet member for transport at Bucks County Council Mark Shaw said: “Of course we did want it to look as beautiful as possible for the royal wedding day, a day which was enjoyed by many, many people so I hope the Duchess of Sussex enjoyed her time in Bucks the night before the wedding.”

However it looks as though the rest of the county will not receive the royal treatment – as increasingly stretched council budgets limit the number of grass cuts carried out, according to county council officer David Stewart.

He said: “The regime is resourced through a certain finite resource and we have to do four cuts between that period when the grass starts growing in April and when the grass finishes growing in October time and that resource has to remain steady throughout the year because we can’t pile more resource in at certain times because that would give us problems at other times.”