It appears that only eight weeks after voting to end the Garden Aid Service to elderly and disabled applicants the Labour / Tory coalition running Falkirk Council are about to perform a spectacular u-turn and reintroduce a version of the Garden Aid following an overwhelming vote of no confidence by the general public.
A total of over 1000 responses were received from the general public with a massive 91% opposed to the scrapping of the service.
Members of the council’s Executive Committee will debate a report on the outcome of the consultation at its meeting on 26 April where a report by Stuart Ritchie that contains a number of options will be considered.
The options include,
- Stop provision of the service completely.
- Revised criteria to introduce fees for the service for those not on benefit.
- Revise eligibility criteria to reflect those over 80 years of age.
- Introduce a chargeable service
- Introduce a service on current eligibility.
SNP Executive Committee member, Cllr Tom Coleman said,
“Of the many cuts imposed by the Labour and Tory Coalition without doubt the abolition of the Garden Aid Service is amongst the cruellest and least thought through of them.”
“Of course at this point in time we do not yet know which, if any, of the options they will choose but it is inconceivable they will stand by the decision they made in February to scrap the scheme given the overwhelming condemnation of their actions as expressed during the consultation.”
“We can also assume that Labour Party canvassers are picking up the same anger at the anti Garden Aid stance of the Labour led Administration within Falkirk Council as the SNP activists are and the forthcoming election to the Scottish Parliament is clearly on their minds.”
“What we now need from the Administration is a genuinely needs based service that recognises the mix between medical and age criteria.”
“We also require that service to be in place urgently as we now have growth in the grass and hedges.”