Householders told to pay £90 to get to their own back gardens in Ibstock, Leicestershire
Householders have been told they will have to pay up to £90 a year to get to their own back gardens and a car park.
People living in Leicester Road, Ibstock, this week received notice of the charge from North West Leicestershire District Council to use a strip of land behind their homes to access their back gardens, where many park.
In Central Avenue, people face the same fee to use council land to get to a car park behind their homes.
Two council tenants in Central Avenue who do not own a car have been told they will have to pay £20 a year to go through a gate at the bottom of their garden to put the bin out because it opens on to council land.
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Residents said they had been using the land without charge for decades.
Many said rather than pay they would park on the streets at the front of their homes.
Andrew Palmer, 36, of Leicester Road, said: "It's a bumpy, narrow strip about a car's width at the bottom of the gardens.
"People have been using it for over 30 years without paying and tenants, including myself, have spent money filling in the potholes to make it useable – something the council hasn't done.
"It's bang out of order. They want more money – that's the long and the short of it.
"People will park on the road, making it more hazardous."
School cleaner Denise Chamberlain, 52, of Central Avenue, said: "I'm so stressed and wound up about this.
"I can't afford to pay an extra £90.
"Every penny I earn goes on food and heating.
"People will park on the road, the council won't get its extra money and the roads will be more dangerous."
Marina Woodward, 68, of Central Avenue, said: "We don't even use the access road to get to the car park but the council wants us to pay £20 a year for putting the bin out on to its land.
"It's disgusting. I'll put my bins out on the front.
"It will be an eyesore, but I'm not paying £20."
Ibstock Labour councillors Dave De Lacy and Janet Ruff have called on the council to remove the charges.
Councillor De Lacy said: "These charges are bonkers.
"Forcing residents to pay to park on their own back garden is crazy when they have been using the road with no problem for years without charges.
"This will only mean more residents will park on the road at the front of their houses, creating further congestion."
Coun Ruff said: "The Government has reduced funds for councils so much it has come up with these charges to try to partially offset the cuts. It is beyond belief that anyone should be asked to pay for putting out their dustbin."
Nick Rushton, the council's portfolio holder for corporate services, said: "A change to the access charge system has been made to ensure there is a fair, consistent and equitable approach to all residents and organisations which require access to their property across council-owned land.
"We will review cases where it is felt access is required only to accommodate collection of dustbins and will consider payment options for those affected.
"We ask that they contact us directly to discuss their cases."