A COUNCIL is pledging to spend more time maintaining its grass verges after a complaint from a resident.

Pensioner Les Sennett, 87, is urging Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council to tidy up the patch of land outside his property which is sprouting weeds and grass one foot high.

The retired carer said he used to tend to verge in front of his semi-detached home on Merton Street, Basingstoke, but stopped after the council allegedly poured weed killer on the turf he had laid down.

Now for the past two years, Mr Sennett has been locked in a disagreement with the authority over who should tidy up the land.

Tom Payne, head of environment services at the council, said the land had been tended to earlier this year but said the authority would be happy to maintain the land from now on.

Mr Sennett said he has complained several times to Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council in relation to the verge.

He claims the area has been left unattended for so long that a plethora of wild fauna and weeds had erupted.

He said: “I used to tidy it up myself but I stopped after someone from the council came along and poured weed killer all over the grass which completely destroyed it. It’s a disgrace.

“Something has to be done about it. It is right in front of the bus stop so makes our road look neglected and unsightly. I’d like to know how often they are supposed to cut council-owned verges.”

In a statement to the Gazette, Mr Payne said: “We were contacted about this patch of land in April and our teams visited the site and cut it. They are due to return again on Thursday to trim it.

“In the past these verges were often cut by residents but they are in fact highway land and will be maintained by a council team on behalf of the highways authority from this point on.”

Mr Sennett said he has previously been told by the council that it was the responsible of Hampshire Highways but he had not had a response from either authority recently.