COUNCIL officials want to charge a Huddersfield pensioner £20 - for using his own garden gate.
Eighty-five-year-old Ernest Lockwood's back garden looks out on to the Jim Lane recreation ground in Marsh.
Mr Lockwood has happily paid a peppercorn sum for the "privilege of right of way" through the gate to the field for decades. But this year his bill soared from about 30p to £20.
"I've always had these bills for small change. Then suddenly it went up to £20," said a flabbergasted Mr Lockwood. He has lived in the house in Broomfield Road for 50 years.
The former engineering foreman has never been told why he has to pay the money.
If Mr Lockwood had no gate to the field there would be no cost.
He says other neighbours with access on to the field pay nothing and that any charges vary wildly up and down the street.
"The lady next door but one has never had a bill," said Mr Lockwood.
Labour councillors Annie Smith and Mehboob Khan have taken up the issue with the council.
Clr Smith said people might as easily be charged for leaving via their front gates and walking on to the pavement. She added: "The council's estates department is figuring out ways of making money. It's inconsistent and doesn't seem a reasonable thing to charge people for. They don't charge anybody else to walk in the park, so why charge them?"
Clr Smith said all maintenance costs of the park and play area would be met by council tax.
A Kirklees spokeswoman, speaking for the Estates Management Department, said they had no comment.