A FORMER RAF man is threatening to stage a protest over council "discrimination" against the elderly.

Jack Frost, 80, says he was almost turned away from the recycling centre on Springwood Industrial Estate because he could not provide digital confirmation that he had booked a slot under the new system.

"When I arrived there at the appointed time the chap at the entrance stopped me in my vehicle and asked for my 'proof of a confirmed booking'," said Mr Frost, of Deanery Gardens, Braintree.

"I asked what he meant because I assumed he would have this information and all he needed to do was check this against my vehicle's registration plate.

"He persisted and said he would like to check my mobile phone or see a print-out. I told him I didn't have a mobile phone and I didn't have a printer.

"He said he would let me in this time but next time he wouldn't allow me in.

"I thought he was a jobsworth but I checked and the council's policy is exactly what he said."

Mr Frost says a friend and fellow ex-serviceman, who is in his 70s, can no longer use the tip because he doesn't have a computer to book a time slot.

"I contacted Essex County Council to say I think it is discrimination," he said.

"This must affect lots of people. I think it's the thin edge of the wedge and people are being marginalised.

"They expect the public to have proof of confirmation but why can't they just give their staff a printout each day of all the cars that have been approved.

The former RAF Leading Aircraftsman is now threatening to stage a protest to highlight the problems.

"I'm going to go down with my rubbish and if they don't let me in I'll dump it on the floor," he said.

"I want this to be taken to court.

"It's quite ridiculous. People are being marginalised - they can't use the facilities.

"Anyone who can't can't go online, can't use the tip."

An Essex County Council spokesman said: “We are pleased this gentleman was able to use the recycling centre. Since the start of the booking scheme ECC has recognised the need of residents who do not have an internet connection, we want the recycling centre booking system to be open to everyone.

“To meet this need residents can phone the Essex County Council contact centre on 0345 743 0430 who will make a booking on their behalf. Lines are open Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm. This has been in place since the booking system started.

“Friends and family can also make a booking on behalf of people who don’t have an internet connection, this is perfectly allowed.

“Also, publicly accessible IT equipment in libraries can be used to make bookings and information has been given to library staff to help people make recycling centre bookings. We also remind Blue Badge holders do not need to book a visit at Essex recycling centres.”