Relief as garden service avoids chop

Terry Blackledge, right, with other residents of Snowden Avenue, Wigan

Terry Blackledge, right, with other residents of Snowden Avenue, Wigan

A group of elderly Wigan residents have cause to breath a huge sigh of relief after their garden maintenance service will not be subject to cutbacks.

Pensioners from Snowden Avenue, Worsley Mesnes had reacted with disbelief as they claim their housing association said they would no longer cut their back garden grass.

We’ve got some on the street in their 90s, it would have made it very difficult to keep our gardens in shape

Terry Blackledge

But later in the week the firm back-tracked and the full service remains in operation, the relieved group told the Observer.

Terry Blackledge said earlier last week: “We pay an added fee on top of our rent for the garden service so we get both our front and back gardens cut.

“We were told they were going to stop doing the back gardens but there wasn’t going to be a reduction in what we were paying.

“I’m an 80-year-old and we’ve got some on the street in their 90s, it would have made it very difficult to keep our gardens in shape.

“It’s like OAPs are treated like pariahs sometimes, our gardens will be like jungles if they stop cutting the grass.

“How can you have a 50 per cent reduction in a service but then expect people to keep paying the same rate?”

Mr Blackledge said the previous landlords had proposed a similar reduction in service in 2009 but had then reneged on their plans.

And it appears history has repeated itself on this occasion, fortuitously for the concerned group of tenants.

The Observer contacted the firm, Your Housing, for comment and soon after Mr Blackledge got back in touch to say residents had now been informed the service was staying as it was.

Mr Blackledge later said: “We’re very relieved because every thing has gone back to the status quo.

“I’ve been here 20 years now, it’s the best accommodation around, they’ve made a lot of improvements, and we don’t have any complaints about the company apart from this with the grass.”

Your Housing has not commented.