PENSIONERS in Brinsley are uniting to protest against new garden maintenance charges and plan to go to Broxtowe Borough Council waving their placards next week.
Janet Enever is heading the campaign after finding out the council has started to charge pensioners to keep their gardens tidy.
She said: “People are gobsmacked. They’ve got to pay it or they won’t get their garden done.
“I feel for them. I think it’s terrible. They have been to work and they have paid for what they’ve got.
“They’ve even got to take their hedge trimmings away themselves.”
Pensioners in council properties received letters last week saying they had to pay the £2.17 weekly charge, or get someone else to maintain their gardens for them.
But Mrs Enever, of Broad Lane, said many people do not have family members they can call on and are forced in to paying the charge.
“A lot of people don’t have family living nearby. There’s no way out of it for them.
“£2.17 a week doesn’t seem a lot, but you try telling a pensioner that when they are used to paying nothing and people in Amber Valley get it for free.
“Surely there’s other means and ways without penalising pensioners,” she added.
Mrs Enever, who does various work to help pensioners in the village and fundraises for charity, said she also plans to contact the Eastwood MP Gloria De Piero.
But a spokesman for Broxtowe Borough Council said: “The council have introduced a charge for the garden maintenance scheme due to the significant costs associated with providing a free service to over 500 people.
“It was apparent that the service would not be able to continue without a charge being introduced.
“The council recognises that a service is needed for elderly and disabled tenants and the charge is needed to prevent the service being lost altogether.”