Council staff were unable to clear a dustbin from a four-inch deep stream because they weren't qualified to wear Wellington boots and a safety harness.
Instead local residents had to wade in to clear the metal bin and its load of filthy rubbish following the bizarre ruling from Chichester District Council.
He said the bin had been placed on a footpath leading to the village hall by a well-intentioned resident for passers-by to dump their litter.
But when it ended up in the stream, with its rubbish slopping out into the water, Mr Barnard contacted the district council.
He said: "I spoke to someone from the department dealing with fly-tipping and he said – and I quote – 'We don't have anyone qualified to wear Wellington boots'.
"I know they must have their health and safety regulations, fair enough, but it was only four inches of water."
Rules are there for a reason: To give government a way out of anything, including common sense.