A MAN from Highworth with a muscle-wasting disease has criticised the council for letting his hedges become overgrown.

John Davidson suffers from a rare condition called myositis that weakens his leg and arm muscles.

This condition prevents him from cutting his own hedges and grass.

The 63-year-old pays Swindon Borough Council £2.76 a week all year round for a garden maintenance assistance service but is not happy with how they’ve tended to his hedges.

John said: “It’s a joke, the hedges are long and overhanging.

“The gardener cut the outside but left the top and inside long.

“Neighbours walking by have to avoid it and it reflects badly on me.

“I wrote to the garden officer and he said they only do the basics but this they don’t even do that, the service is rubbish.”

John was first diagnosed with myositis three years ago after his immune system started attacking itself when he got pneumonia.

He said: “The consultant said I was one in a million, it’s such a rare disease.

“I’m in pain when I walk, I can’t run any more, I can’t stretch my arms properly and I can’t lift a kettle when it’s full of water.

“I suffer from depression because I can’t do the things I used to do and want to do.

“I’m sat down most of the day, I hate it and it’s never going to improve.

“That’s why I pay for this service but I have had to keep on to the council for them to do my hedges properly.

“It’s so tiring and frustrating.”

“First they left all three of my hedges like this, then came back to finish the privet hedge but the other two are still overgrown. It’s ridiculous.”

A Swindon Borough Council spokesman said: “Mr Davidson has his hedges cut as part of our tenant garden maintenance scheme.

“It is disappointing to hear that he is not happy about the most recent work in his garden because in May he rang the council to personally thank us for cutting his hedges.

“We will be carrying out the next scheduled cut next month but, in the meantime, we have asked our neighbourhood wardens to clear any branches which may be overhanging the public path.”