Council backtracks on "access charge" for residents
A local authority has agreed to reconsider unpopular plans to charge residents for getting to the rear of their homes over council-owned land.
North West Leicestershire District Council sent letters to 214 households notifying them of the "access charge", last month.
Under the proposals, people would be charged £20 for an annual license to access their back gardens by foot, with residents who park in garages at the rear of their property told they would pay £90.
But the Conservative-run council agreed to ‘withdraw’ the letters when the council discussed the charges at yesterday's full council meeting.
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It followed a storm of protest from residents who claimed it was nothing more than a stealth tax.
The council agreed to reconsider the proposals and send letters to the residents informing them that no action will be taken at this stage.
Councillor Dave De Lacey, Labour member for Ibstock, who proposed a motion calling for a review of the proposals, said: “The whole issue of charges for access will now be referred back to square one for a fundamental review.
“At long last Conservative leaders on North West Leicester District Council have seen some sense.
“The guarantees of starting this process again and basically withdrawing the original letters means that Labour councillors could agree to further discussions with the Conservatives about these ludicrous new district taxes.
“I cannot believe in a million years that the Conservatives will want to bring these charges back to residents again and face the anger and condemnation they have received over the past few weeks.”