‘Consultation’ over garden aid cut in Falkirk criticised

The scheme helps pensioners avoid their gardens becoming overgrown
The scheme helps pensioners avoid their gardens becoming overgrown

The way tenants have been ‘consulted’ about plans to scrap the garden aid scheme has been slammed.

Councillors agreed a budget proposal last month to stop the service and save £275,000 a year - but also agreed to send letters to householders inviting them to comment.

But the exercise has been criticised as a waste of time by the SNP.

Group leader Cecil Meiklejohn claimed the two-question survey which can also be completed online, “adds insult to injury” for the 6000 elderly residents who stand to lose out.

She said: “Our elderly and most vulnerable have been given no alternatives. This is a very poor effort with a complete lack of thought having been put into it. The council has no consultation strategy whatsoever. It’s clear the administration and officers have no grasp on what the word consultation means. This is a cruel cut and one that can and must be reversed.”

At a meetimg of the executive last week SNP Councillor David Alexander said: “It seems to me the decision to cut the service has already been taken, so what is there to consult about? We’re making the same mistake we made with The Rowans.”

Council leader Craig Martin said: “Currently there is no provision in the budget to fund the service that existed. People have to understand the council has been hit with a £25 million cut in spending and that has to impact on communities.”