GRASS has grown to over a foot long in some parts of Rochford as workers struggle to clear a backlog, according to frustrated residents.

Children have been unable to use playing fields, with one councillor describing the whole district as "tatty."

Contractors working on behalf of Rochford Council are understood to have got behind with maintenance work due to their lawnmowers and strimmers breaking down.

Terry Steward, 57, of Bull Lane, Rayleigh, said: “It’s been awful. The kids in the area can’t even play football. The grass hasn’t been cut for ages. It’s a foot or more long in some places."

Neil Martin, of Bull Lane, Rayleigh, told the Echo the grass in his road doe not appear to have been cut since he moved into his house in February.

The 33-year-old said: “The grass is quite long now and probably hiding dog poo."

Concerns have been raised the problem could worsen due to heavy rainfall on Monday night and into Tuesday morning.

Richard Lambourne, 63, of Eastwood Road, Rayleigh, said:

“Due to the length of the grass several people have commented that the normal practice of blowing into the road will clog the drains. Now it's wet it's even more of a problem.”

Chris Black, Lib Dem councillor for Downhall and Rawreth, said: “The contractor just doesn’t seem to be coping, this gives the council a problem. It’s getting bad, it’s getting quite tatty.

"Now we are starting to get some rain and the rain makes it harder to cut and makes it grow faster. If we have a very wet June we will have huge problems with the grass.”

Jamie Burton, chairman of the review committee and Rayleigh Independents councillor for Wheatley Ward, is confident the backlog will soon be cleared.

He said: “As far as I know the problem is to do with machinery, equipment and personnel.

“The grass has grown rapidly over the past few weeks. At the end of last week I saw a lot of grass being cut around Rayleigh. It should all be up to date by next week.”