Plans to make the collection of garden waste more expensive for people who do not pay for the service by direct debit have been criticised for being ‘discriminatory’.
Coun Gail Turner has blasted the decision by Ashfield District Council to increase its garden waste charges for residents who pay cash, saying that it will hit the poorest members of society.
In an email sent to council chiefs, she said: “I am appalled that this authority will introduce a scheme that is wholly discriminatory against the more deprived members of the Ashfield community.”
The decision to increase the charges was made by council officers after the cabinet agreed to introducing a variable charge for garden waste collection in March.
The price for garden waste collection for 2014 has risen to £22 per year, up from £20, for customers who sign up for direct debit payment.
But for all non-direct debit customers - including those who pay by cash, telephone and internet - the price will be £26 a year.
Coun Turner, who represents Selston on the council, said that the increase in charges unfairly hits people who do not have a bank account.
“As far as I am concerned, everyone in Ashfield is equal and if people have not got a bank account but want to keep their garden tidy, they should have equal opportunity to do that,” she added.
The price of garden waste collections in Ashfield has been frozen since its launch eight years ago.
Some 14,500 residents use the service and since direct debit payments for it were introduced this year, 2,500 customers now pay in this way.