As predicted the Labour / Tory Coalition running Falkirk Council has performed a significant and highly embarrassing u-turn and reinstated the Garden Aid Scheme for elderly and disabled applicants’ only weeks after withdrawing the budget for the service.
This comes after an overwhelming public condemnation of the actions of the coalition administration with 91% of those who responded, over 1000 people, expressing support for a service introduced in Falkirk by the SNP in 1978.
First to react was SNP candidate for Falkirk East, Angus MacDonald who while welcoming the climb down expressed concerns for the people who had felt pressed to purchase a service from the private sector they could not afford from pensions or state benefits.
Angus MacDonald went on to say,
“First of all I would thank my SNP colleagues within Falkirk Council for all of their hard work in keeping this issue alive and pressing the Administration for a reversal of their attack on the elderly and disabled recipients of the Garden Aid Service. They have demonstrated both consistency and a determination to fight the Labour / Tory cuts.”
“Unfortunately many elderly people who were part of the original Garden Aid scheme have paid private contractors because they feared a backlash from neighbours and Housing officials regarding the state of their gardens.”
“I am calling on Falkirk Council to reimburse these people as the problem was not of their making, the Labour / Tory Administration must accept full responsibility.”
The climb down was also welcomed by Falkirk West SNP candidate, Michael Matheson, who added.
“Seldom have I witnessed an Administration that are so out of touch with the people of Falkirk district.”
“The decision to abandon the Garden Aid contract just a few weeks before the service was due to carry out the first cut of the season was sheer stupidity as was the withdrawal of the budget for the service meaning cuts now have to be made elsewhere.”