A CONCERNED resident was left shocked after being told that ‘she’ could strim a public walkway owned by Devon County Council.
Pensioner, June Cocks was gobsmacked after her efforts to get nasty thorns and nettles cleared on a path that runs through Beverley Gardens, Ashburton, resulted in the 78-year-old receiving unwelcome gardening advice.
An incensed June said: ‘I’m being asked by the County Highways to do their job... I’m 78!
‘I pay my rates so I don’t see why I should do their work for them.’ The troublesome path has been a thorn in June’s side for a number of years. She was forced to build a fence to stop schoolchildren from cutting across her garden, where they could have ‘easily hurt themselves’ on the steep bank next to the path.
According to June, the path, which she says is the only official path in Ashburton, was maintained by the town council when she moved to her home in 1969.
That was taken over by Teignbridge Council and now Devon Highways is involved with its upkeep and they are asking her to trim where the path borders her property.
District councillor for Ashburton, John Nutley, called the situation ‘ridiculous.’
He said: ‘I cannot believe they tried that. The county council is responsible for that lane, not an elderly resident.’
He added: ‘I know that money is tight at the moment but they are clearly fobbing June off by telling her to do it herself.’
He added: I know that money is tight at the moment but they are clearly fobbing June off by telling her to do it herself.’
In response to the thorny issue, a spokesman for Devon County Council responded: ‘If a hedge is overgrown, on private land and impacting on safety, we will ask the landowner to maintain it – we are unable to cut hedges that we are not responsible for.
The spokesman added: ‘If it is a hedge that we are responsible for, we’ll programme in a cut in accordance with our ecological policies.’