Lingfield litter pick halted over health and safety concerns
COMMUNITY members have fallen foul of health and safety issues in a bid to get their village cleaned up.
When Lingfield Parish Council suggested seven small jobs, it was told by county council bosses that two of them – removing litter from a ditch and cleaning roadside planters – couldn't be carried out because of health and safety concerns.
And two others – preserving planters and repairing a broken fence in Ray Close – were specialist projects which the county council's contractors could not do.
Parish council members were especially galled because Surrey County Council had invited them to draw up the "wish-list" of local clean-up tasks they wanted done, last month.
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Now, villagers have taken the clear-up into their own hands.
Lingfield parish councillor Mary Edwards said: "It sounds like health and safety gone mad. We're very disappointed, to put it mildly.
"I wonder why they asked what we wanted done in the first place."
Chris D'Avray, who chairs Lingfield Parish Council, added: "The whole thing is bizarre, considering we were asked by the county council to draw up a wish-list of tasks that needed doing. But then half of them get thrown back at us.
"We were left feeling jaded at having so many requests rejected, but we're taking the initiative and holding our own clear-up next month."
Mr D'Avray said a villager ended up going out with a mop and bucket to clean some road signs himself after the county council prevaricated over the job.
His council colleague John Cole added: "It's just potty. It sounds like loads of arguments for not doing the work.
"Hopefully the jobs they actually agreed to do will be completed some time in February."
Lisa Bangs, district councillor for Lingfield and Crowhurst, said it was a shame that half the jobs on the list would not be done.
County council highways officer Steve Cunnah said the requested tasks which would be taken on were cleaning the village's road signs, removing a tree stump in Saxbys Lane and cutting back vegetation where it obscures road signs.
Villagers will take part in a litter clear-up on Saturday, March 17, in the twitten between Church Road and the station. It starts at 10.30am, and everyone is invited to attend.