Maintenance of open spaces is being restarted across Largs and Millport this week.

The move comes in preparation of the government’s plan to begin relaxation of lockdown measures which, in its first phase, will allow people to take part in more outdoor activities.

In the initial lockdown phase, many grounds maintenance staff were redeployed to other essential frontline services including household bin collections and food delivery for vulnerable residents. Grass cutting was limited to essential areas only, including cemeteries, in line with the approach taken by other local authorities.

In light of national guidance, the Council is now ready to begin reinstating grass cutting and other maintenance tasks in local open spaces based on a phased approach that targets priority areas first.

This work will initially focus on parks and promenades. The intent is then to continue widening services to other areas in the coming weeks and to return to a normal service over the course of summer.

All works will be carried out in line with guidance on physical distancing to protect staff and members of the public.

Councillor Jim Montgomerie, Cabinet Member for Place said: “With the routemap out of lockdown shortly entering its first phase, we appreciate that more and more people will begin to venture outdoors again – whether that’s for their daily exercise or to simply sit and enjoy the beautiful scenery we are lucky to have here in North Ayrshire.

“We have a plan in place and we are working extremely had to improve our public spaces as quickly as possible for you, while keeping our staff and the public safe.

“I would also like to commend our grounds maintenance staff who have pulled together, many of them doing things vastly difference from their day jobs to ensure we help our communities through this difficult period. They have played an invaluable role in our response to the crisis.

“We wholeheartedly appreciate everyone’s patience on this matter and ask that you continue to respect our staff as we get back on track.