Wiltshire Council will be withholding payment to its controversial highways contractor, after admitting its grass cutting service was not up to standard.

Balfour Beatty Living Places have been plagued by complaints since taking on the five-year £150 million contract for the county’s road maintenance in 2012, with play areas and grass verges becoming completely overgrown.

The west of the county has been a particular problem, with residents across Trowbridge and Bradford on Avon raising concerns.

A briefing note sent out to all members today has confirmed the council will be withholding payment to the company for areas where grass cutting has fallen below the agreed standard.

John Thomson, cabinet member for highways said: "The service being provided isn't good enough and we are determined to work with Balfour Beatty Living Places so standards are raised quickly.

“This is a resource level issue and it is limited to certain areas of maintenance.

“BBLP performed well during the winter flooding and we want this level of service across all the areas of work which the company is responsible for.

“I am confident that we can move forward and although we are working in partnership with the company this does not mean we won't be holding them to account when there are clear problems."