A full-time carer said he “took on the council and won” after a local authority rowed back on a steep hike in garage rents.

People claiming certain types of welfare benefit will be charged £5 less per week to rent garages privately from Enfield Council under plans due to be approved on Wednesday (February 26).

Council bosses admitted a decision to raise rents substantially from April 2018 had a “detrimental impact”, leading 87 people to give up their garage licenses and cutting the local authority’s revenue by around £113,000 over a one-year period.

Frank McDonald, who is in his 60s and lives in Menon Drive, Edmonton, has been campaigning against the rent rises since they were introduced, in what he described as a “David-and-Goliath” struggle.

The increase in Mr McDonald’s rent – from £72 per month to more than £130 per month – left him worried he would have nowhere safe to store his 1970s Bond Bug, which was a 21st birthday gift from his partner.

So he was pleased to hear the council had included a concession for welfare claimants in its latest garage rent charges, meaning he will pay around £20 less per month from April this year.

Mr McDonald said: “It was a David and Goliath battle, and I won the day – not just for me but for everyone else.

“There were hundreds of people who were affected by this draconian policy, and a lot of us were on disability benefits and welfare benefits.

“The council realised the policy was really bad.”

After the fees went up, Mr McDonald, who cares for his partner full time, feared he would have to give up the garage he had rented on Cedars Court since 2006, and he continued to lobby the council to change course.

He said he had also campaigned on behalf of more than 350 other garage tenants who had been hit by £60-a-month rent hikes, which he discovered via a freedom of information request.

Enfield Council’s cabinet member for social housing Cllr Gina Needs (Labour, Turkey Street) said: “From time to time Enfield Council has to revisit policies and re-engage with residents to make sure proposed changes are appropriate and represent value for money.

“In this instance, Enfield Council’s cabinet found that rental increases in garage charges should be reviewed in the light of resident feedback and take-up.

“As a result, we have agreed a new garage strategy and rents will remain the same for 2020-21. In addition, a new concessionary rate will be introduced for private tenants in receipt of certain welfare benefits, recognising this council’s commitment to those on low incomes.

“I am very happy that Mr McDonald is pleased with the results.”