‘Welcome to Southam’ sign surrounded by ‘complete mess’

The grass near the 'Welcome to Southam' sign had grown so high it was taller than Nicola Lappin's seven-year-old daughter.
The grass near the 'Welcome to Southam' sign had grown so high it was taller than Nicola Lappin's seven-year-old daughter.

Drivers entering Southam are told by the town that it is a Britain In Bloom winner - only to see overgrown and unkempt grass surrounding them.

Merestone Close resident Nicola Lappin took this picture of her seven-year-old daughter standing close to the ‘Welcome to Southam: Britain In Bloom winner’ sign that greets drivers entering the town to emphasise just how long the grass had been left to grow.

And she is particularly frustrated because her father Frank, who has since passed away, featured in the pages of this newspaper nine years ago when he complained to Stratford District Council about exactly the same issue.

Miss Lappin said: “It is looking a complete mess. Nine years on, the battle is taking place again. This time my mother is in constant dispute with the district council and Southam Town Council, neither of which wish to take responsibility for it.

“A small section no bigger than a standard lawn mower has been cut by the path, but this only leads to it looking worse.

“It is taller than my seven-year-old daughter now and looks really bad and more importantly, it is hard to see traffic coming off the roundabout when leaving our road.”

When Mr Lappin spoke to officers at the council, he was told that the council had an obligation to cut its verges nine times a year and received an apology for the delay. At the time, residents in Merestone Close had become so fed up that they took to cutting the grass opposite their own houses - meaning the length of grass was inconsistent along one of the most prominent entries into the town.

Speaking to the Courier this week, a spokeswoman for Stratford District Council said a council officer had met representatives from Southam Town and Warwickshire County Councils last week to look at the area and, as a result, it has been added to the district council’s maintenance contract.

She said: “I haven’t been able to find out who used to cut this area of land, but hopefully this won’t happened again now it’s been included as part of the contract.”

To see the schedule for road maintenance across the district, visit www.thelandscapegroup.co.uk/stratford-on-avon-district-council/maintenance-rounds

Britain in Bloom judges will be visiting towns across south Warwickshire this month.