COUNCIL bosses have been forced to alter their grass-cutting policy after being slammed for “neglecting” a once-popular Johnstone park.

Councillor John Hood, who represents Johnstone South and Elderslie, called on the local authority to start cutting naturalised areas as part of a regular schedule after watching Tannahill Park, part of the Cochrane Castle estate, become “unsightly and dangerous.”

The Labour man’s motion was passed, despite a challenge by the SNP minority administration.

Mr Hood said: “I am delighted councillors backed my motion because the state of Tannahill Park has been a real blight on the Cochrane Castle estate.

“Years of neglect have taken their toll in this area, leaving it unsightly and dangerous.

“The grass is so long it is now a no-go area for local people and, in particular, children.

“It used to be a haven for young people. Now, unfortunately, parents are concerned this area is unsafe, with goodness knows what hidden in the undergrowth.

“It hasn’t been naturalised, it’s been left to ruin. It takes a lot of management to naturalise an area, I know this as a passionate gardener.

“It will need a minimum of two cuts a year.”

The call to cut the grass regularly was backed by Robert Speirs, chairman of the Cochrane Castle Tenants and Residents’ Association, and resident Sandra Crosbie, who first raised the issue with Mr Hood several years ago.

Previously, the park was a football pitch, with youngsters enjoying regular kickabouts.

Mr Hood said the park is now in such a state some people walking their dogs there fear it is a health hazard.

He added: “One person who spoke to me the other day said his dog had three ticks on him from walking in the grass.

“The council did come out some time ago to cut some of the grass, but cut about a 10-yard area and left the rest.

“We have been campaigning to get this sorted out for a long time and I’m pleased the council will now have to get something done.”

Cathy McEwan, convener of Renfrewshire’s infrastructure, land and environment policy board, confirmed improvements at Tannahill Park are on the way.

She said: “It is my understanding the open space between Tannahill Crescent and Woodlands Crescent referred to by Councillor Hood is too wet to be cut properly and this will be addressed when it has the chance to dry out.

“I can also confirm the SNP administration will undertake a review of the grass-cutting regime.”