RESIDENTS have taken matters into their own hands and performed maintenance work on the pathway they claim to have become unsafe for schoolchildren.

The alleyway, between Coronation Road and Queens Drive, is a popular route for children and parents walking to Cledford Primary School.

Middlewich Town councillors and members of the community decided to trim the overgrown hedges themselves, making the footpath safer.

Cllr Jonathan Parry said: “After several discussions with Cheshire East Council, we were told that they were not responsible for the cutting back of the bushes that had overgrown on the alleyway on Coronation Road and Queens Drive.

“This is a busy route used by lots of school children and had become dangerous due to the bushes having thorns.

“We had a terrific response from residents when we asked for help last week.

“Not only from people with gardening equipment, but also people just wanting to keep us in brews and bacon sandwiches. There is wonderful community spirit in Middlewich.

“Cheshire East are once again showing their true colours by picking and choosing their responsibilities."

Cllr Mike Hunter said: " The hedges are thorny and dangerous for kids and parents.

“While Congleton Borough Council used to maintain the hedges, Cheshire East have always refused. We decided to take it into our own hands, along with help from residents, and cut it back.

“Even though it pains me to let Cheshire East Council off the hook, it pains me more seeing kids get hurt."

A spokesperson for Cheshire East Council’s highways team said: “The hedges next to the footpath are private and therefore the responsibility for trimming them is down to the individual householders – and not Cheshire East Council.

“We will send one of our officers down to inspect the alleyway and, if there is an issue about access for pedestrians, the householders will be asked to deal with the matter and if necessary formal notices will be issued to require the householders to carry out these tasks.”