Over a year ago, the York Council notified elderly and disabled people that it planned to scrap its garden assistance scheme. The scheme employs contractors to cut the hedges and lawns of elderly and disabled residents.
The plans produced a barrage of complaints and the threat was withdrawn
Now a report has revealed that a Tory Councillor is again planning to slash entitlement to the service. About 50% of current users will be told to make other arrangements.
It appears that some people aged over 70 with severe disabilities may continue to get the service from an estate “handymen”, but many others will miss out.
The cuts are expected to save the Council around £40,000 a year.
The Tories claim that this cut is essential to balance the books. They forget that last week a review of the Housing Revenue Account revealed that it will have an average credit balance of over £30 million in each of the next 30 years.
This partly arises from the expected 1% per annum real terms increases in rents.
As well as kicking existing users off the programme, the report talks of establishing a “waiting list” for people who need the service.
The Councillor responsible for the proposal is Sam Lyle a youth who recently graduated from University. Quite what he knows about the challenges faced by many older residents will no doubt become clear over the next few days.
Fortunately, as we have reported before (left), there are a lot of caring students at the York and St Johns Universities who hopefully will prove to be part of the solution to this shabby proposal
In the meantime, the Council’s website is down. Anyone trying to Email Councillors is referred to a web page apparently containing a list of contact telephone numbers. http://democracy.york.gov.uk/mgCommitteeMailingList.aspx?ID=0
That web page is also currently unavailable!