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Widow's fear over overgrown verge

PUBLISHED: 16:00 09 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:10 01 July 2010

Maureen Connolly.

Maureen Connolly.

Matthew Sparkes

A retired widow has said she is afraid of tripping on grass left to grow wild outside her Norwich home.

Maureen Connolly, 75, claims that Norwich City Council has always tended to a sloped bank outside her house on Beeching Road, Lakenham, since she moved in 45 years ago.

A retired widow has said she is afraid of tripping on grass left to grow wild outside her Norwich home.

Maureen Connolly, 75, claims that Norwich City Council has always tended to a sloped bank outside her house on Beeching Road, Lakenham, since she moved in 45 years ago.

However, bosses at City Hall say the problems have been caused by parked cars blocking access to the area.

But two years ago the work stopped and the grass was left to grow over a set of steps down to the road outside her garden.

Mrs Connolly, who was left disabled after being hit by a car in 1980, twice resorted to cutting the grass herself with a pair of shears but said that she has had to abandon her attempts because she is no longer able to do the work.

Despite complaining to Norwich City Council several times the work has been left undone.

Mrs Connolly said: “I've been up there two or three times, they just don't want to know. I went up to the council and they said they'll be along there soon.

“It's literally three feet high. It's such a mess. I'm a very good tenant. I keep my place tidy and my garden tidy. They should cut the outside.

“It just looks like you're living in a really, really rough area. People pay their tax and things and they should expect something done for it.

“I wouldn't go down the steps now. I could do myself a real injury.”

But yesterday a council spokesperson said that the fault lay with residents on the road, who had not moved their cars when asked to.

A spokesperson for the council said: “In this particular area the grassed bank is fairly steep and can only be cut with a strimmer. When our contractors use this kind of equipment, we have to ensure that cars are far enough away so that they are not damaged.

“When we organise street cleaning and maintenance activities like this, we write to residents asking them to move their cars, unfortunately if people don't do this, we cannot carry out the works.

“Our officers are aware of this particular area being an issue, and are discussing the best way forward in terms of how we can work better with residents to gain the access to areas our contractors need to get the job done.”

Do you have a problem with council services? Call reporter Matthew Sparkes on 01603 772439 or email matthew.sparkes@archant.co.uk

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