Following on from yesterday’s revelation that the Council is abandoning its garden care scheme for vulnerable tenants, a Councillor has claimed that contractors were charging “£80” to cut a lawn.
Apparently it was this that led to the announcement that the most disabled tenants would instead be offered £200 as compensation for the loss of the service.
Lawns are cut 10 times a year so how far the £200 will go remains to be seen. In addition hedges are normally trimmed on three occasions.
No financial figures have been released by the Council and no equalities impact assessment has been published
It appears that options like tendering for the service in smaller packages (to minimise unnecessary travel) have not been considered nor has the employment of Council staff to undertake the work. (there are numerous other jobs that such staff could usefully do in the winter period).
The Councillor responsible for housing+ (Denise Craghill) has now tweeted “Nobody who needs support will be left without it. Contract was a hugely inefficient use of public money. Budget still same to improve support for tenants to enjoy their gardens. Everyone is being visited. Those conversations will feed into a decision session in April”.
This doesn’t explain how letters came to be sent to tenants ahead of any decision being taken.
Cllr Nigel Ayre claims on “twitter” that the “communications issue is unfortunate but errors happen “.
Copies of the draft letters to affected tenants (copied to Councillors yesterday) can be downloaded from these links
We think that the Council should abandon its planned changes for this year.
They should undertake a full and informed consultation on the future of the service and then implement any changes during the 2021/22 financial year.