Disabled couple slam 'rip-off' garden maintenance service after doing most of the work themselves - YorkshireLive

2022-06-20 17:49:31 By : Mr. Evans Wu

The couple struggle to maintain their own garden, but said that they have had no choice

Yorkshire breaking news and updates sent straight to your inbox

A disabled couple have slammed a "rip-off" garden maintenance service provided by their council, claiming that they have been forced to do most of the work themselves. The couple, who live in Derbyshire, said that they have spent over £2,000 on the council-led service, but do not believe that they have gotten their money's worth.

Cheryl Ward and her partner, Mark, have been paying £5.70 a week for Derby City Council to visit their home and maintain their lawn. But the irate couple claim that workers have done the bare minimum and have even "wrecked" their garden.

The total cost to the couple, having been paying the maintenance fee for many years, has now reached £2,304. But they say that they have been forced to do much of the work themselves, as workers left untamed weeds in their borders which were strangling their plants, DerbyshireLive reports, although the council has refuted the couple's claims.

Read more: Hopes high for South Yorkshire investment after Rishi Sunak visits town

Mark, who has a mobility problem in his knees following an accident at work, has even had to clear the space for the roses and carnations, as he and Cheryl claim that Derby City Council workers have failed to maintain the borders. Cheryl is also registered disabled and is struggling with her health, due to a fractured spine and the recent removal of a brain tumour.

She said that the situation with the gardens is causing additional stress. And she said that the gardening scheme began to "go downhill" about four years ago.

Cheryl said: "We joined the gardening scheme some eight or nine years ago. Until five years ago we had borders with flowers looking lovely. Four years ago it started going downhill. I went out to look to see how roses and carnations were doing, but I couldn't see them.

"The weeds were taller than my three year old granddaughter was. I’m five foot five and they were up to my hips. My partner had an accident and he’s struggling. He got down on hands and knees and dug it out so you could see the hedges. He shouldn’t be doing that.

"I’ve made numerous calls to the council over the years. We’ve spent over £2,000 for them to wreck my garden. Weeds have strangulated the carnation bushes. We pay to have the borders kept, grass cut, bushes kept, and pruning. I get nothing apart from grass cut. It’s not fair. I think it’s a rip off."

A spokesperson for Derby City Council disagreed with the couple's claims that the work was not being done to the agreed standard. They said that the garden maintenance scheme is designed to help tenants with "basic tasks", but these do include the control of weeds.

The spokesperson said: "Derby Homes tenants, as part of their tenancy agreement, have a responsibility for the upkeep of their garden. Some of these activities can be physically demanding, such as cutting hedges and grass, and the Derby Homes garden maintenance scheme is designed to help tenants with basic tasks such as grass and hedge cutting, shrub maintenance and weed control.

"Between April and October, visits are carried out fortnightly although this may be longer depending on the weather and growing conditions."

Plans for congestion blackspot Yorkshire road slammed as 'pointless' as it'll be gridlocked in a decade

Electric buses coming to Yorkshire as £81m pumped into cleaning up diesel fumes

First traders to be unveiled for Bradford's new city centre market