Following a week of extremely bad publicity, ISS, the contractors responsible for cutting council grass in Lochaber, has been forced into another embarrassing apology. The front page of this week’s Lochaber News featured the disgraceful lack of care and attention these contractors have shown for the job that council taxpayers pay them to do. Although the report focusses on the neglect of Old Morar Cemetery, there are many other smaller examples across the area. It’s a frequent topic of complaint at community council meetings and from local residents.
Last week, the young fruit trees at the community orchard opposite St Brides School in North Ballachulish were damaged by careless strimming. Unfortunately, at least seven of the dozen trees were damaged. It’s too early to tell if the trees will die from this damage, we will have to wait to the next growing season. The community council chairman Iain Jenner, who is a professional arborist and gardener, thinks there is a high risk the tres will die because of damage to the cambium. He raised the question of compensation from contractors if this is the final outcome and the council has confirmed they would be responsible for replacing any dead trees
I have now received the following apology from ISS, “I apologise on ISS behalf for the strimmer damage to the fruit trees at St.Brides.
Moving forward, I will re-fit guards and weed kill a protective ring around the trees to ensure that this does not occur again. It should be noted that I have also chastised the team responsible for this action who assure me it will not happen again.”