Lengthsmen return to villages near Rugby

Lengthsmen Wayne Byles and Peter Clifford
Lengthsmen Wayne Byles and Peter Clifford

A pilot scheme is being introduced which will see the return of lengthsmen to parishes around the borough.

Warwickshire County Council announced it will support parishes in looking after their local area.

Wolvey, Shilton and Barnacle, Church Lawford, Thurlaston and Wolston will be the first five parishes involved.

A lengthsman would undertake jobs which may cause concern for residents or the appearance of a local environment, but not necessarily prioritised unless they cause a safety issue.

Chairman of Wolston Parish Council Tim Harvey-Smith said: “We are quite keen to sign up to it. Certain areas of the village we take care of ourselves, and this is an opportunity to do so partly funded by the county council

“It’s a bonus for us. Things like repairing verges damaged by vehicles which the county wouldn’t have done with the same speed.

“Most of the villages in Worcestershire have a lengthsman to deal with gullies and drains instead of waiting a couple of weeks and we tend to try to do it ourselves, but now with the blessing of the county council, it gives a legality to it.

“We are looking forward to seeing how it works and if it does it can be rolled out to other parishes.”

The duties of a lengthsman:

Grass and verge cutting

Footpath, hedge, fence and grass cutting management: including cutting back overhanging hedges causing an obstruction

Reporting safety defects to the county council including potholes, heritage signs and non-mains powered traffic signs; cleaning and carrying out minor repairs.

Drainage and localised flood prevention: clear leaves or debris blocking a gully grate or highways culvert.

Minor storm debris and roadsides; clear minor storm debris.