Woman accuses Sutton Council of ruining her garden
A private garden is being "butchered" by council staff despite the homeowner's protestations.
Homeowner Jane Ray, 51, has told Sutton Council's maverick mowers to get off her land but staff are not listening.
Ms Ray, who has lived on Mitre Close, Sutton, for 22 years, has accused the council of "mindless idiocy" after the latest cultivation catastrophe. The mother-of-two said this time she is well and truly hacked off and has lodged a strongly worded complaint.
Ms Ray, said: "It started about three years ago. I caught a council gardener trying to cut the garden, and I asked what on earth he thought he was doing, it was my garden and nothing to do with the council.
They tried to do it again and I stopped them. This time (last week) I was at work when they did it and I got home, and my son said 'guess what'? And I knew they had cut it again."
"They think my property is theirs."
Ms Ray, a keen gardener herself, had left areas of plants on her garden to attract insects and had mown around them.
She said: "Butterflies and other insects would come, and everyone on the street said how nice it looked, but then they came and butchered it again."
"They were wild plants. I can't replace them as I have no idea what they were. I wish they would just leave my garden alone."
Conservative Councillor Tony Shields said after being contacted by Ms Ray: "I went to look at the garden and what could I say? It's just another mindless mistake by Sutton Council. I apologised for the gaff of course but honestly how stupid must our grass cutting team be?"
A spokesman for Sutton Council said: "The London Borough of Sutton and our contractors G Burley and Sons have offered our sincere apologies to Ms Ray.
We really value the fantastic work she and so many of our residents do to create green spaces and we want to do everything we can to help those who want to grow their gardens.
Unfortunately, there was a failure in communication between the council and our contractors. We have written to Ms Ray to apologise and to offer her some wild flower seed mix to use next year."
The news comes as Sutton Council released its Gardening for Butterflies pamphlet which aims to make residents more aware of how to support butterflies in the borough.