A PLAN to bring in huge fees to deal with high hedges has run into trouble.
The idea - due to be debated by Kirklees Council's Cabinet tomorrow - is for a £320 fee for officials to examine complaints about hedges.
But both Labour and Tory leaders have vowed to fight the idea of fees, especially at the level recommended.
Clr Mehboob Khan, leader of the Kirklees Labour Group, said it was a ridiculous situation.
"Labour councillors in Huddersfield have received many letters, telephone calls and e-mails from angry residents who cannot believe that the Lib Dem/Green Cabinet is even considering charging residents for complaining about their neighbours who persist in keeping their hedge above a lawful height.
"We welcome the fact that the government has passed legislation to order owners of high hedges to cut them to two metres but believe that as council tax payers, the council should meet the costs of enforcement action without asking people to pay twice for this service.
"The only people who should be charged are those who keep their hedges too high despite warnings.
"Once again it seems that the authorities are punishing the victims rather than the perpetrators. Only those who are well off will be able to complain."
Clr Robert Light, leader of the Tory group, said it was a terrible idea to bring in fees.
"There should not be any charges. It is a case of the Government passing the buck once again.
"The public wants action if there is a problem and as council taxpayers, they have a right to expect the council to sort it out.
"If we have to pay for every council service, why bother with a council?
"We shall oppose the move if we are able."
Neither Labour nor the Tories are represented on the Cabinet who are to debate the move tomorrow afternoon.
A report to the Cabinet says that the council would take on the role of mediator in arguments over hedges and costs would be incurred in dealing with formal complaints.
The fee would not be returnable whatever decision was made.
Examples of fees by other councils
* Birmingham £320
* Pendle £320
* Isle of Wight £340
* Leeds £340
* Devon £400