A DISABLED man living in Groesffordd said he feels “forgotten about” as biting council cuts have left the grass verges near his home to grow waist high.

After calling Powys County Council to complain, David Creamer said he was asked whether he “had a strimmer”, despite living in a bungalow due to his chronic back condition which causes him “24-hour pain”.

Mr Creamer, 51, has been living in a council bungalow since 2013, and said the budget cuts have left the verges outside his home, and in his cul-de-sac, to grow thick and high, even blocking his gate.

Suffering with spondylitis – an arthritic back condition – for the last 30 years, David has been forced to undergo serious spinal operations, and is awaiting another. In the meantime, he uses strong painkillers such as Tramadol, but said he is in “constant pain”, despite even having epidural treatment.

“The cutbacks are to blame. I know the council has had a lot of cuts, in all areas of what they have to do,” said David. “What I don’t understand is why that side of the village is cut 10 times a year, and this side is only three times.

“All I have out of the council is that they tell me one thing, and then change it. Everyone is paying Council Tax and we are not getting what that money is used for. They’re just not doing it. Something needs to be done.”

David said he has called the council five times since May. On the last occasion, a council spokesperson suggested that he cut the grass himself, despite his debilitating condition.

“One of the people I spoke to asked me if I had a strimmer. I think she was trying to tell me to do it myself,” he said. “I had an epidural into the spine only last week. I can’t do much at the moment. I’m registered disabled.

“I had to rip the grass out of the way yesterday to get out of the gate.

“I was annoyed to be honest. I’m not a stupid person. It’s not just me. Around some of the houses here, the council haven’t cut the grass in over a year. My neighbour has to cut around the post box as the grass is so high, she can’t use it. It shouldn’t be growing across the gate.”

David moved back to Brecon four years ago, after the council offered him the bungalow which was specialised to his needs. He said it took until a few months ago to have hazardous asbestos guttering removed by the council.

“If you look elsewhere in Brecon, the bungalows are looked after. Nothing gets done whatsoever. We are forgotten about in Groesffordd,” he said.

Owing to his condition, the 51-year-old must keep the heating on, or his chronic back pain worsens.

He said he’s still waiting for the council to upgrade two windows in his home, despite assurance from 2011 that the work would be done. “My gas bill is £156 a month. The window in the dining room has a gap, so it lets the cold in. Because of my condition, I have to put the heating on more. I feel cold even now.”

Barbara O’Connell, a neighbour, said grass verges outside her home, and around the bus stop have been left to grow wild, as the firm contracted by the council has neglected the work, despite trimming a patch just 30 metres away.

“It’s a disgrace,” said Barbara. “This area outside my home hasn’t been cut at all, for at least 18 months. Four workers were standing there a few days ago. When I asked them if they were going to cut the rest of the grass, they said ‘it’s not on our list’. We get nothing for the council tax we pay. We have to walk in the road when walking the dogs, as we can’t get to the path. It’s atrocious.”

Mr Creamer has been also forced to pay a gardener £15 a month to maintain his front garden, as council cutbacks have shredded the service. “We are not getting the services they are supposed to provide us with. I have to park further away, because the grass is so overgrown. I haven’t been able to do it myself as my back is so bad.”

Paul Griffiths, the council’s strategic director, said: “As part of the council’s agreed financial strategy, the frequency for grass cutting for recreation areas and highway verges has been reduced. However, we are offering town and community councils the opportunity to explore alternative arrangements that allow local communities to have greater control over the standard of local maintenance under our Community Delivery initiative.”

The council added that a member of staff would contact Mr Creamer.