“A MAJOR IMPROVEMENT” - that’s the new verdict on the council’s grass-cutting services after they were labelled ‘pathetic’ last year.

Landscaping company Tivoli cuts the grass around Wokingham borough but experienced issues in 2016 and 2018.

READ MORE: This is when food waste bins are coming to flats

Bosses received 532 complaints about “unloved” areas of green space in 2018 as some patches of grass were ‘knee-high’ and had dog mess hidden in them, according to councillor Lindsay Ferris.

This led to the Liberal Democrats member saying the grass cutting had been “awful” and “pathetic” at a meeting late last year.

However, Tivoli bosses said they were ‘ahead of the game’ in preparations for grounds work this year at a meeting in February.

Work on grass cutting this year has seen the landscapers receive just 78 justified complaints after the growing season - 434 fewer than in 2018.

READ MORE: Controversial pizza plan angers neighbours

At a meeting on Wednesday, October 16, Cllr Lindsay Ferris said this was a “major improvement” as “the level of complaints has gone down ten-fold”.

A new management team implemented new measures to reduce the number of complaints, including making sure grass-cutters were well-resourced, ensuring grass was cut every four weeks, updating IT systems and more.

Better communication with residents and more mitigation actions were also introduced.

Peter Bavyetstock, Wokingham Borough Council officer, said work between Tivoli and the authority’s management committee had been “very helpful”.

Despite this, some councillors raised issues with hedge cutting and Tivoli’s response to early growth, but Conservative councillor Pauline Helliar-Symons said there was “no doubt” there had been “improvements made”.

NOW READ: Rail death at Wokingham station was an accident, coroner rules

Councillors will review the progress Tivoli is making at a further meeting in Spring 2020.