POLL: Tories in march through Derby to protest at 'brown bin tax' plan
TORIES took to the streets on Saturday to campaign against the Derby "brown bin tax" proposed by the Labour-led city council.
The authority is consulting on its draft budget for the next two years.
And that proposes bringing in a charge for those households wanting the council to collect their brown bins from 2014.
The brown bins are used for disposing of garden waste.
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Under the proposals, the charge would be £40 per bin each year.
For additional brown bins, each household would pay an extra £20.
A licence would be attached to the bins once the fee was paid so collectors knew which to collect.
Councillor Ranjit Banwait, cabinet member for neighbourhoods, has put forward the idea and said it was because the cost of collection was so high.
It would contribute to more than £1 million of savings each year.
But Conservatives say it is a bin tax and have rallied against it.
The group has launched an online petition and members were out on foot in the city centre on Saturday collecting signatures.
Councillor Mathew Holmes, deputy Conservative group leader in Derby, said: "In some ways, Labour's 'brown bin tax' is causing a bigger backlash than their failed attempt at imposing a congestion charge the last time they ran the council.
"There are several reasons for that. Firstly, it's pretty obvious that this it is a brazen attempt by Labour to hike up council tax in Derby by 5% while avoiding the cap imposed by the Government that triggers a public vote if an increase of 2% or more is put forward.
"At a time when household finances are stretched, any increase in local taxes is going to hurt and that's why the Conservatives froze council tax during the two years we were in control of the council. I certainly won't be paying the charge and there will be thousands of others who won't either.
"I can see a massive increase in fly tipping on the horizon, with taxpayers footing the bill."
Among those signing the petition was Jake Lodge, of Chaddesden.
The 29-year-old said: "I don't agree with it. We pay for the services and shouldn't have to pay more.
"I know we are in times of austerity but they are taking money from hard-working people."
Mr Banwait said: "Most people using brown bins have gardens, which is why they use the bin. What we will be encouraging is those people to compost rather than putting the waste in a bin.
"However, the brown bin will still be collected for those who want it for the £40 charge. People who don't want it collected won't have to pay."