Inadequate grasscutting and the poor quality of landscaping in Shannon were discussed by councillors recently at the Shannon Municipal District.
A number of councillors referred to the sub-standard work being provided by landscaping contractors in the town. A written report from district engineer Eugene O’Shea stated, “the contract for grass cutting in the Shannon MD was tendered earlier this year and a new contractor appointed.
“The familiarisation period for this contractor has led to issues with certain areas being omitted etc. initially but these issues have been largely ironed out at this stage. Any specific issues communicated to the MD office will be brought to the attention of the contractor without delay.”
Councillors complained about the cut grass being left in situ to be blown across footpaths and roads, presenting a hazard for elderly people out walking. Cllr Gerry Flynn acknowledged that he was happy with a change of contractors because the work had not been done properly, however, the excuse now given is about “familiarisation”.
The contractor is paid with public money and Cllr Flynn reminded the council that “ignorance is no defence in court”. Any new contractor would have been shown a map and been well briefed on the job expected of them by the council, said Cllr Flynn. He added, “there were too many misses for my liking to be dismissed as simply ‘familiarisation’.
Noting that Shannon Tidy Towns committee is doing “a fantastic job”, Cllr Flynn said they are being let down by the landscapers. He recalled being out on a general clean-up of Shannon with local people and council officials and noticing the amount of weed growth at every road and kerb. Another problem is the supermarket trolleys abandoned all over the town and Cllr Flynn called for more action from Clare County Council to address these issues. In conclusion, he said, “these contractors are missing out areas and not cutting grass properly. Ultimately they are being paid public money, so they must shape up or ship out.”
Separately, there was a very positive response to a request from Cllr Gerry Flynn calling on the local authority to prioritise works to enable people with disabilities to have safe access to the footpath network in Shannon.
Senior engineer Eugene O’Shea responded that the enhancement of public infrastructure in Shannon to cater for people of all abilities is a priority of Clare County Council. Mr O’Shea added, “Such works have been ongoing over the past number of years and will continue as required on a priority basis subject to the availability of resources.”