A disabled father with heart failure is in a discrimination dispute over a grass cutting complaint
Greg McClelland, 45, has been deemed medically unfit to maintain his garden due to severe heart failure for which he is receiving specialist treatment.
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The father-of-two was recently diagnosed with heart failure and was initially given five years to set the record.
But after being fitted with an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) last month — a small, battery-powered device placed in the chest that detects and stops irregular heartbeats by delivering shocks to the heart — he says his life expectancy has risen to 10 years. .
Greg was advised to go out on walks to maintain his general fitness, but his doctor strongly advised him against any strenuous activity – including mowing the lawn.
After contacting Clyde Valley Housing Association for help, he claims he was told they only offered a lawn cutting service to tenants if they were in a wheelchair or pregnant.
“When I was diagnosed, my neighbor would cut the grass for us, but I couldn’t expect her to do it for me, and it cost a fortune to pay to do it. The grass was so tall we couldn’t even do it.” Let our dogs out the back.
“I need to try to set something up for the garden so my wife won’t be left dealing with this when I’m gone because she’s disabled too and my kids have disabilities. We need someone to help us.”
Clyde Valley Housing Association told Lanarkshire Live that grass cutting and garden maintenance is not a service it offers to tenants.
A spokesperson added: “We remain available to Mr McClelland should he require any additional advice or support from us.”
Greg had previously asked South Lanarkshire Council to recommend slabs for his garden to eliminate the need for further maintenance due to his health difficulties.
But he was told that social work services do not carry out assessments or make recommendations on general maintenance and repair of properties, and he was advised to take his application to the landlord’s Clyde Valley Housing Association.
To support his case, Colette Stephenson MSP has written to the council requesting access to the free garden care program if they do not reconsider granting Clyde Valley Occupational Therapy approval to install low-maintenance paving.
However, grounds service manager Colin Reid responded by saying Mr McClelland would need to pay for the garden service, adding: “The council already has some housing association residents in the scheme and it is the tenants who are paying for that service.”
Colette Stephenson said: “I can sympathize and completely understand Mr McClelland’s plight. He was trying to do the right thing to ease the burden on his family to allow them to remain in their home.”
“Clyde Valley expects its tenants to maintain their gardens, but circumstances such as these require a tailored approach. Likewise, if they were a South Lanarkshire Council housing tenant, Mr McClelland and his wife would meet the eligibility criteria for maintaining their garden.
“Mr McClelland’s circumstances are unique and I urge Clyde Valley Housing to reconsider his situation and find a compromise for the benefit of all.”
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Kevin Carr, Head of Facilities, Waste and Land Services, said: “The garden care scheme is available to tenants at South Lanarkshire Council who meet specific agreed criteria; The costs of the scheme are covered by Housing Services.
“While we sympathize with Mr McClelland, housing association tenants will need to reach an agreement with their landlords on annual fees.”