GLASGOW City Council’s annual six-week break in meetings and formal business has begun. But, along with many of my colleagues, I’m using this opportunity to spend more time in my ward, talking with constituents about the issues that affect them.

This summer, like last, we’ll all be spending a bit more time outside, complying with regulations and keeping ourselves safe while meeting family and friends. For lots of people in my ward, this will mean spending more time outside in their garden.

And as we do that, we might begin to notice the condition of other gardens in our streets, and our communities. Some might start to appear overgrown, and not be the scene for friends and family reuniting after a tremendously difficult year.

At the last full council meeting, I asked about the future of the Assisted House Garden Maintenance Scheme. This tended to the gardens of 13,000 vulnerable households who couldn’t do for themselves, and gave young people a fresh start too.

The scheme has been scrapped. And it has been scrapped because of the SNP.

SNP spin will, of course, try to tell you otherwise. But the reality is that a service that was delivered to 13,000 vulnerable households across the city will no longer be delivered.

I understand that some anticipate the scheme going ahead in future years, after the pandemic has begun to fade. However, this is not the case. The funding simply is no longer there to provide this vital service.

No-one in the SNP has been willing to take responsibility for this, and are completely unwilling to commit to any sort of replacement scheme.

The end result is that vulnerable households – those where everyone is over the age of 70, and is not able to look after their garden themselves – will suffer.

I’ve written many times in these pages about council cuts. A reality that those currently in power would rather ignore. But this is the consequence. Budgets are being balanced on the back of those most in need. And that is not something I will stand by and simply let happen.

Labour will continue to campaign hard for the reinstatement of a vital service that has been cut by the SNP, under cover of Covid.