Derbyshire council defends £90k lawn mower spend

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A council has defended its decision to spend £90,000 on three state-of-the-art lawnmowers as an attempt to ‘protect frontline services’.

Amber Valley Borough Council have taken delivery of three ride-on mowers to be used on grass verges and green spaces in the borough, at a cost of £30,000 each.

Simon Gladwin, assistant director of Landscape Services at the council, said the machines will replace old mowers that had ‘reached the end of their life span’.

He said: “This is about protecting frontline services and making sure residents get delivered these services effectively.

“The old machines were breaking down. The new ones use a different technology which makes them much more effective.”

Mr Gladwin said the price tag, for the Ransomes Meteor mowers, is typical of a ride-on mower.

A lawnmower distributor, who didn’t wish to be named, said the council’s decision to fork out for the top model could save them money.

He said: “The council need to save money by cutting the grass less, and the meteor can cut taller grass that couldn’t be done using ordinary cylinder mowers.”

Testing the mower, Cllr John McCabe, cabinet member for environment, said: “I am extremely pleased that we have been able to find the funding to purchase these three new mowers, which will ensure that the residents of Amber Valley will continue to benefit from a high quality grass cutting service, for many years to come.”

The issue has divided opinion on the Derbyshire Times’ Facebook page. One user, Annette Carnell, said: “What do they do for that money? Are they gold plated?”

Another, Marc Holmes, said: “This is a serious piece of agricultural machinery that will be used day in day out on an industrial scale.”