People will have to show a permit proving they are Bradford Council taxpayers before they are allowed to use the authority’s waste tips under controversial new rules which come into force next month.
But the scheme, brought in by the Labour-run authority, has been labelled as “hare-brained” and “costly control-freakery” by other political group leaders who have warned it could lead to more flytipping.
The permits are being introduced with the aim of saving up to £160,000 a year by stopping householders from neighbouring authorities using the district’s dumps to get rid of their rubbish or recycling.
But residents have only been finding out about them in literature attached to their 2013/14 Council Tax bills.
It has left the Council’s Conservative and Liberal Democrat group leaders both condemning the scheme and the way it had been announced.
Tory leader Councillor Glen Miller said: “There has been no correspondence about it, I knew nothing about it.
“This authority seem to do things without thinking them through.”
He said he was worried people would turn up at waste sites without permits, would be refused entry and would then dump their waste outside the gates.
Councillor Jeanelle Sunderland, the Liberal Democrat leader, branded the new scheme “costly control-freakery”.
She said she first learned of the scheme when she read a leaflet which arrived with her council tax bill.
She said: “It’s madness. I thought I was opening my council tax bill on April Fool’s Day.
“It’s an absolutely crazy idea. There’s no way that this is going to work.
“It will lead to an increase in fly-tipping because people just won’t be bothered. And people will just dump stuff in their bins so we will end up with more stuff being sent to landfill.”
Defending the scheme, Councillor Andrew Thornton, the Council’s executive member for environment and sustainability, said: “After monitoring the use of household waste recycling centres, Bradford Council has identified that many people from areas outside the district have been using them. We believe the Council is a net importer.
“Because of the extra waste and extra cost for Bradford council tax payers this generates, we have decided to introduce measures to make sure only Bradford residents can use our facilities in the future.”
But retired resident Bill McKay, of Roundwood Road, Baildon, called it “a sop to bureaucracy and narrowmindedness”. His nearest waste recycling centre is at Guiseley, in Leeds, and he said he felt sure the number of people coming into Bradford to dump waste would be offset by those, like him, who would rather use tips outside the district.
He said local authorities in West Yorkshire should work together rather than enforcing their borders, to make life simpler for residents.
Mr McKay, 63, said he did not believe the permit scheme would save the Council £160,000, once they took into account the costs of issuing the permits, then enforcing them.
Heather Roberts, of Thackley, called the scheme “futile and bureaucratic” and said the Council was putting barriers in the way of recycling. From April 1, anyone wanting to get a permit must visit their local household waste centre with their latest Council tax bill and their driving licence.
They will then be given a free permit, which they must display in their car windscreen to be able to get into any waste sites across the Bradford district.
Kirklees Council has a similar permit scheme in place.