Swindon residents warned over council tax payments

Swindon residents warned over council tax payments

Swindon residents warned over council tax payments

First published in News

RESIDENTS who fall behind on council tax payments are being told that ignoring reminders is not the solution.

Following on from benefit changes last year, there was a small increase in the number of people who fell behind on council tax payments.

Now schemes are being put together to help people who are falling behind.

In the last financial year more than 14,000 summonses were issued and 7,200 were passed to debt enforcement agencies.

The council wants to improve the way people are reminded and work with those who are struggling to help them pay their debt.

Coun Russell Holland (Con, St Margaret and South Marston), cabinet member for finance, said: “There are a number of reasons why residents fail to pay their council tax promptly.

“There are some residents who can afford to pay but are trying to delay or evade payment. But others are also having financial difficulties or may not be prioritising their finances.”

New methods of reminding people are being brought in. Text messages are being sent out to mobiles, data matching is also being set up between Housing and Children’s services and the council tax database in an attempt to identify households which may be vulnerable.

A pilot scheme is also to be set up whereby residents who are due a summons receive a phone call to try and establish a way of arranging affordable payments.

Anyone facing council tax problems can call 0345 3022316.

Comments (14)

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1:00pm Tue 5 Aug 14

nigelej says...

If the council stopped wasting money on sending workmen out only to say we can't repair that . Then someone else and some one else . Last year I sent an e mail to the head man saying we had so many visits from them for one job which still had not been completed they had used 660 miles of fuel . This year I reported a leaking roof in January and 7 months and 4 visits which is another 88 miles plus man time I'm still waiting for the work to be done . Now the reason I'm saying this is I'm sure I'm not the only one this happens to. So if they got this right they might even be able to reduce the council tax for eveyone making it cheaper . And working on the lines of Goerge Osbourne tax theory if you reduce the higher rate people will pay more its got to be right . And before any one moans about subsidised housing yes I am in one not by choice but need . And if I could have done the repairs in question I would have .
If the council stopped wasting money on sending workmen out only to say we can't repair that . Then someone else and some one else . Last year I sent an e mail to the head man saying we had so many visits from them for one job which still had not been completed they had used 660 miles of fuel . This year I reported a leaking roof in January and 7 months and 4 visits which is another 88 miles plus man time I'm still waiting for the work to be done . Now the reason I'm saying this is I'm sure I'm not the only one this happens to. So if they got this right they might even be able to reduce the council tax for eveyone making it cheaper . And working on the lines of Goerge Osbourne tax theory if you reduce the higher rate people will pay more its got to be right . And before any one moans about subsidised housing yes I am in one not by choice but need . And if I could have done the repairs in question I would have . nigelej
  • Score: 5

1:14pm Tue 5 Aug 14

house on the hill says...

nigelej wrote:
If the council stopped wasting money on sending workmen out only to say we can't repair that . Then someone else and some one else . Last year I sent an e mail to the head man saying we had so many visits from them for one job which still had not been completed they had used 660 miles of fuel . This year I reported a leaking roof in January and 7 months and 4 visits which is another 88 miles plus man time I'm still waiting for the work to be done . Now the reason I'm saying this is I'm sure I'm not the only one this happens to. So if they got this right they might even be able to reduce the council tax for eveyone making it cheaper . And working on the lines of Goerge Osbourne tax theory if you reduce the higher rate people will pay more its got to be right . And before any one moans about subsidised housing yes I am in one not by choice but need . And if I could have done the repairs in question I would have .
Not sure what that has to do with Council Tax as your repairs are paid from the Housing Revenue Account which is separate (although not totally as Capita have found a way of "sharing" services in nice grey areas!)

I think for once the Councillor is right. they tend to fall into 3 groups. Those who can pay but choose not to or lie, those who really do have financial issues and those who just don't bother to or don't know how to budget for their priority debts before they buy luxuries.

The other thing to bear in mind that in debt collection there does come a time when it would cost more to recover the debt that collect it so they will never collect everything.
[quote][p][bold]nigelej[/bold] wrote: If the council stopped wasting money on sending workmen out only to say we can't repair that . Then someone else and some one else . Last year I sent an e mail to the head man saying we had so many visits from them for one job which still had not been completed they had used 660 miles of fuel . This year I reported a leaking roof in January and 7 months and 4 visits which is another 88 miles plus man time I'm still waiting for the work to be done . Now the reason I'm saying this is I'm sure I'm not the only one this happens to. So if they got this right they might even be able to reduce the council tax for eveyone making it cheaper . And working on the lines of Goerge Osbourne tax theory if you reduce the higher rate people will pay more its got to be right . And before any one moans about subsidised housing yes I am in one not by choice but need . And if I could have done the repairs in question I would have .[/p][/quote]Not sure what that has to do with Council Tax as your repairs are paid from the Housing Revenue Account which is separate (although not totally as Capita have found a way of "sharing" services in nice grey areas!) I think for once the Councillor is right. they tend to fall into 3 groups. Those who can pay but choose not to or lie, those who really do have financial issues and those who just don't bother to or don't know how to budget for their priority debts before they buy luxuries. The other thing to bear in mind that in debt collection there does come a time when it would cost more to recover the debt that collect it so they will never collect everything. house on the hill
  • Score: 2

1:21pm Tue 5 Aug 14

nigelej says...

house on the hill wrote:
nigelej wrote:
If the council stopped wasting money on sending workmen out only to say we can't repair that . Then someone else and some one else . Last year I sent an e mail to the head man saying we had so many visits from them for one job which still had not been completed they had used 660 miles of fuel . This year I reported a leaking roof in January and 7 months and 4 visits which is another 88 miles plus man time I'm still waiting for the work to be done . Now the reason I'm saying this is I'm sure I'm not the only one this happens to. So if they got this right they might even be able to reduce the council tax for eveyone making it cheaper . And working on the lines of Goerge Osbourne tax theory if you reduce the higher rate people will pay more its got to be right . And before any one moans about subsidised housing yes I am in one not by choice but need . And if I could have done the repairs in question I would have .
Not sure what that has to do with Council Tax as your repairs are paid from the Housing Revenue Account which is separate (although not totally as Capita have found a way of "sharing" services in nice grey areas!)

I think for once the Councillor is right. they tend to fall into 3 groups. Those who can pay but choose not to or lie, those who really do have financial issues and those who just don't bother to or don't know how to budget for their priority debts before they buy luxuries.

The other thing to bear in mind that in debt collection there does come a time when it would cost more to recover the debt that collect it so they will never collect everything.
You are right about that it can cost more . What really worries me is when this universal credit comes in everyone is going to get there rent and council tax paid direct to them and then they pay the council . So those who don't care just ain't going to pay . And those that do but struggle come Christmas its going to go through some of there minds presents for kids or rent / council tax . I think its a crazy policy . Don't worry about the repairs bit I didn't realise it came out of a different budget put me harp ds up to that . However it is an appalling waste of money .
[quote][p][bold]house on the hill[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]nigelej[/bold] wrote: If the council stopped wasting money on sending workmen out only to say we can't repair that . Then someone else and some one else . Last year I sent an e mail to the head man saying we had so many visits from them for one job which still had not been completed they had used 660 miles of fuel . This year I reported a leaking roof in January and 7 months and 4 visits which is another 88 miles plus man time I'm still waiting for the work to be done . Now the reason I'm saying this is I'm sure I'm not the only one this happens to. So if they got this right they might even be able to reduce the council tax for eveyone making it cheaper . And working on the lines of Goerge Osbourne tax theory if you reduce the higher rate people will pay more its got to be right . And before any one moans about subsidised housing yes I am in one not by choice but need . And if I could have done the repairs in question I would have .[/p][/quote]Not sure what that has to do with Council Tax as your repairs are paid from the Housing Revenue Account which is separate (although not totally as Capita have found a way of "sharing" services in nice grey areas!) I think for once the Councillor is right. they tend to fall into 3 groups. Those who can pay but choose not to or lie, those who really do have financial issues and those who just don't bother to or don't know how to budget for their priority debts before they buy luxuries. The other thing to bear in mind that in debt collection there does come a time when it would cost more to recover the debt that collect it so they will never collect everything.[/p][/quote]You are right about that it can cost more . What really worries me is when this universal credit comes in everyone is going to get there rent and council tax paid direct to them and then they pay the council . So those who don't care just ain't going to pay . And those that do but struggle come Christmas its going to go through some of there minds presents for kids or rent / council tax . I think its a crazy policy . Don't worry about the repairs bit I didn't realise it came out of a different budget put me harp ds up to that . However it is an appalling waste of money . nigelej
  • Score: 0

1:21pm Tue 5 Aug 14

nigelej says...

house on the hill wrote:
nigelej wrote:
If the council stopped wasting money on sending workmen out only to say we can't repair that . Then someone else and some one else . Last year I sent an e mail to the head man saying we had so many visits from them for one job which still had not been completed they had used 660 miles of fuel . This year I reported a leaking roof in January and 7 months and 4 visits which is another 88 miles plus man time I'm still waiting for the work to be done . Now the reason I'm saying this is I'm sure I'm not the only one this happens to. So if they got this right they might even be able to reduce the council tax for eveyone making it cheaper . And working on the lines of Goerge Osbourne tax theory if you reduce the higher rate people will pay more its got to be right . And before any one moans about subsidised housing yes I am in one not by choice but need . And if I could have done the repairs in question I would have .
Not sure what that has to do with Council Tax as your repairs are paid from the Housing Revenue Account which is separate (although not totally as Capita have found a way of "sharing" services in nice grey areas!)

I think for once the Councillor is right. they tend to fall into 3 groups. Those who can pay but choose not to or lie, those who really do have financial issues and those who just don't bother to or don't know how to budget for their priority debts before they buy luxuries.

The other thing to bear in mind that in debt collection there does come a time when it would cost more to recover the debt that collect it so they will never collect everything.
You are right about that it can cost more . What really worries me is when this universal credit comes in everyone is going to get there rent and council tax paid direct to them and then they pay the council . So those who don't care just ain't going to pay . And those that do but struggle come Christmas its going to go through some of there minds presents for kids or rent / council tax . I think its a crazy policy . Don't worry about the repairs bit I didn't realise it came out of a different budget put me harp ds up to that . However it is an appalling waste of money .
[quote][p][bold]house on the hill[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]nigelej[/bold] wrote: If the council stopped wasting money on sending workmen out only to say we can't repair that . Then someone else and some one else . Last year I sent an e mail to the head man saying we had so many visits from them for one job which still had not been completed they had used 660 miles of fuel . This year I reported a leaking roof in January and 7 months and 4 visits which is another 88 miles plus man time I'm still waiting for the work to be done . Now the reason I'm saying this is I'm sure I'm not the only one this happens to. So if they got this right they might even be able to reduce the council tax for eveyone making it cheaper . And working on the lines of Goerge Osbourne tax theory if you reduce the higher rate people will pay more its got to be right . And before any one moans about subsidised housing yes I am in one not by choice but need . And if I could have done the repairs in question I would have .[/p][/quote]Not sure what that has to do with Council Tax as your repairs are paid from the Housing Revenue Account which is separate (although not totally as Capita have found a way of "sharing" services in nice grey areas!) I think for once the Councillor is right. they tend to fall into 3 groups. Those who can pay but choose not to or lie, those who really do have financial issues and those who just don't bother to or don't know how to budget for their priority debts before they buy luxuries. The other thing to bear in mind that in debt collection there does come a time when it would cost more to recover the debt that collect it so they will never collect everything.[/p][/quote]You are right about that it can cost more . What really worries me is when this universal credit comes in everyone is going to get there rent and council tax paid direct to them and then they pay the council . So those who don't care just ain't going to pay . And those that do but struggle come Christmas its going to go through some of there minds presents for kids or rent / council tax . I think its a crazy policy . Don't worry about the repairs bit I didn't realise it came out of a different budget put me harp ds up to that . However it is an appalling waste of money . nigelej
  • Score: 0

4:54pm Tue 5 Aug 14

house on the hill says...

nigelej wrote:
house on the hill wrote:
nigelej wrote:
If the council stopped wasting money on sending workmen out only to say we can't repair that . Then someone else and some one else . Last year I sent an e mail to the head man saying we had so many visits from them for one job which still had not been completed they had used 660 miles of fuel . This year I reported a leaking roof in January and 7 months and 4 visits which is another 88 miles plus man time I'm still waiting for the work to be done . Now the reason I'm saying this is I'm sure I'm not the only one this happens to. So if they got this right they might even be able to reduce the council tax for eveyone making it cheaper . And working on the lines of Goerge Osbourne tax theory if you reduce the higher rate people will pay more its got to be right . And before any one moans about subsidised housing yes I am in one not by choice but need . And if I could have done the repairs in question I would have .
Not sure what that has to do with Council Tax as your repairs are paid from the Housing Revenue Account which is separate (although not totally as Capita have found a way of "sharing" services in nice grey areas!)

I think for once the Councillor is right. they tend to fall into 3 groups. Those who can pay but choose not to or lie, those who really do have financial issues and those who just don't bother to or don't know how to budget for their priority debts before they buy luxuries.

The other thing to bear in mind that in debt collection there does come a time when it would cost more to recover the debt that collect it so they will never collect everything.
You are right about that it can cost more . What really worries me is when this universal credit comes in everyone is going to get there rent and council tax paid direct to them and then they pay the council . So those who don't care just ain't going to pay . And those that do but struggle come Christmas its going to go through some of there minds presents for kids or rent / council tax . I think its a crazy policy . Don't worry about the repairs bit I didn't realise it came out of a different budget put me harp ds up to that . However it is an appalling waste of money .
Nigel, as an example when they trialled universal credit in a London Borough about 10 years ago now council rent arrears doubled in 6 months and it took them 18 months and double the rent arrears staff number to get back to where they started. The housing department are dreading this happening as those on the inside know exactly what will happen but as always they have been ignored by those in the ivory towers who wouldn't know reality if it bit them on the backside!
[quote][p][bold]nigelej[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]house on the hill[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]nigelej[/bold] wrote: If the council stopped wasting money on sending workmen out only to say we can't repair that . Then someone else and some one else . Last year I sent an e mail to the head man saying we had so many visits from them for one job which still had not been completed they had used 660 miles of fuel . This year I reported a leaking roof in January and 7 months and 4 visits which is another 88 miles plus man time I'm still waiting for the work to be done . Now the reason I'm saying this is I'm sure I'm not the only one this happens to. So if they got this right they might even be able to reduce the council tax for eveyone making it cheaper . And working on the lines of Goerge Osbourne tax theory if you reduce the higher rate people will pay more its got to be right . And before any one moans about subsidised housing yes I am in one not by choice but need . And if I could have done the repairs in question I would have .[/p][/quote]Not sure what that has to do with Council Tax as your repairs are paid from the Housing Revenue Account which is separate (although not totally as Capita have found a way of "sharing" services in nice grey areas!) I think for once the Councillor is right. they tend to fall into 3 groups. Those who can pay but choose not to or lie, those who really do have financial issues and those who just don't bother to or don't know how to budget for their priority debts before they buy luxuries. The other thing to bear in mind that in debt collection there does come a time when it would cost more to recover the debt that collect it so they will never collect everything.[/p][/quote]You are right about that it can cost more . What really worries me is when this universal credit comes in everyone is going to get there rent and council tax paid direct to them and then they pay the council . So those who don't care just ain't going to pay . And those that do but struggle come Christmas its going to go through some of there minds presents for kids or rent / council tax . I think its a crazy policy . Don't worry about the repairs bit I didn't realise it came out of a different budget put me harp ds up to that . However it is an appalling waste of money .[/p][/quote]Nigel, as an example when they trialled universal credit in a London Borough about 10 years ago now council rent arrears doubled in 6 months and it took them 18 months and double the rent arrears staff number to get back to where they started. The housing department are dreading this happening as those on the inside know exactly what will happen but as always they have been ignored by those in the ivory towers who wouldn't know reality if it bit them on the backside! house on the hill
  • Score: 3

5:27pm Tue 5 Aug 14

beach1e says...

I wonder how much this council is owed and how much people whose jobs it is to protect the public purse actually recover, and also how much the self same people get paid and whether they are sacked if they arent doing their job?
I wonder how much this council is owed and how much people whose jobs it is to protect the public purse actually recover, and also how much the self same people get paid and whether they are sacked if they arent doing their job? beach1e
  • Score: 0

6:36pm Tue 5 Aug 14

Russell Holland says...

beach the data is in the Cabinet report at http://ww5.swindon.g
ov.uk/moderngov/docu
ments/s68274/Council
%20Tax%20Recovery%20
and%20Debt%20Managem
ent.pdf

Our Council tax recover rates are good and in line with the better performing local authorities in terms of Council tax collection.

The issue is that at present the system is basically automated. You get a reminder notice and if you don't take action you get a court summons which costs £60. If you don't take action and the Council gets a liability order that is an additional £40. If you don't take action and it goes to the bailiff then for a phone call the cost is £75 and a visit £235. So if no action is taken a debt of say £100 could become a debt of £100 plus £400 in costs.

My fear is that in many instances people just ignore it until it is too late. The message I am trying to get out is that if there is a problem then contact the Council immediately. We are reviewing the letters we send out to try to communicate this more.

I am also concerned that some people often in connection with benefit payment issues or genuine social need get caught out and a lot of resource is spent pursuing people who do not have very much. By phoning people before seeking a liability order I hope we can avoid having them having to pay additional costs and build up a better picture of what the social need is.
beach the data is in the Cabinet report at http://ww5.swindon.g ov.uk/moderngov/docu ments/s68274/Council %20Tax%20Recovery%20 and%20Debt%20Managem ent.pdf Our Council tax recover rates are good and in line with the better performing local authorities in terms of Council tax collection. The issue is that at present the system is basically automated. You get a reminder notice and if you don't take action you get a court summons which costs £60. If you don't take action and the Council gets a liability order that is an additional £40. If you don't take action and it goes to the bailiff then for a phone call the cost is £75 and a visit £235. So if no action is taken a debt of say £100 could become a debt of £100 plus £400 in costs. My fear is that in many instances people just ignore it until it is too late. The message I am trying to get out is that if there is a problem then contact the Council immediately. We are reviewing the letters we send out to try to communicate this more. I am also concerned that some people often in connection with benefit payment issues or genuine social need get caught out and a lot of resource is spent pursuing people who do not have very much. By phoning people before seeking a liability order I hope we can avoid having them having to pay additional costs and build up a better picture of what the social need is. Russell Holland
  • Score: 0

11:19pm Tue 5 Aug 14

timt1964 says...

the council are like the modern day sheriff of nottingham.dont forget people despite all the waffle,bailiffs have no right to enter your home.dont let them in and leave a note saying you are "refusing their implied rights of access".
the council are like the modern day sheriff of nottingham.dont forget people despite all the waffle,bailiffs have no right to enter your home.dont let them in and leave a note saying you are "refusing their implied rights of access". timt1964
  • Score: 3

3:25pm Wed 6 Aug 14

messyits says...

Russell Holland wrote:
beach the data is in the Cabinet report at http://ww5.swindon.g

ov.uk/moderngov/docu

ments/s68274/Council

%20Tax%20Recovery%20

and%20Debt%20Managem

ent.pdf

Our Council tax recover rates are good and in line with the better performing local authorities in terms of Council tax collection.

The issue is that at present the system is basically automated. You get a reminder notice and if you don't take action you get a court summons which costs £60. If you don't take action and the Council gets a liability order that is an additional £40. If you don't take action and it goes to the bailiff then for a phone call the cost is £75 and a visit £235. So if no action is taken a debt of say £100 could become a debt of £100 plus £400 in costs.

My fear is that in many instances people just ignore it until it is too late. The message I am trying to get out is that if there is a problem then contact the Council immediately. We are reviewing the letters we send out to try to communicate this more.

I am also concerned that some people often in connection with benefit payment issues or genuine social need get caught out and a lot of resource is spent pursuing people who do not have very much. By phoning people before seeking a liability order I hope we can avoid having them having to pay additional costs and build up a better picture of what the social need is.
Don't forget if they miss a payment they lose their free weeks.
[quote][p][bold]Russell Holland[/bold] wrote: beach the data is in the Cabinet report at http://ww5.swindon.g ov.uk/moderngov/docu ments/s68274/Council %20Tax%20Recovery%20 and%20Debt%20Managem ent.pdf Our Council tax recover rates are good and in line with the better performing local authorities in terms of Council tax collection. The issue is that at present the system is basically automated. You get a reminder notice and if you don't take action you get a court summons which costs £60. If you don't take action and the Council gets a liability order that is an additional £40. If you don't take action and it goes to the bailiff then for a phone call the cost is £75 and a visit £235. So if no action is taken a debt of say £100 could become a debt of £100 plus £400 in costs. My fear is that in many instances people just ignore it until it is too late. The message I am trying to get out is that if there is a problem then contact the Council immediately. We are reviewing the letters we send out to try to communicate this more. I am also concerned that some people often in connection with benefit payment issues or genuine social need get caught out and a lot of resource is spent pursuing people who do not have very much. By phoning people before seeking a liability order I hope we can avoid having them having to pay additional costs and build up a better picture of what the social need is.[/p][/quote]Don't forget if they miss a payment they lose their free weeks. messyits
  • Score: -1

4:19pm Wed 6 Aug 14

BCDR99 says...

Scrap this tax and replace it with a local income tax deducted at source. Easier to collect, don't have to have things like subsidies/benefits and it's a fairer tax as those that can pay it, do so and we're not chasing those that can't.
Scrap this tax and replace it with a local income tax deducted at source. Easier to collect, don't have to have things like subsidies/benefits and it's a fairer tax as those that can pay it, do so and we're not chasing those that can't. BCDR99
  • Score: -1

6:18pm Wed 6 Aug 14

trolley dolley says...

If anyone is in serious debt then GOOGLE "DRO" (Debt relief order).

You can then take action to cancel all debts and start with a clean sheet.

This is a government scheme, so if you need it, use it.
If anyone is in serious debt then GOOGLE "DRO" (Debt relief order). You can then take action to cancel all debts and start with a clean sheet. This is a government scheme, so if you need it, use it. trolley dolley
  • Score: 0

10:11pm Wed 6 Aug 14

CllrDJGAZZAperky@HaydenMaSS says...

Life handed to these people on a plate and still there are problems. Some of us have worked for our homes and have to pay for repairs to be made out of my own pocket.
Sick of paying to keep them in these palaces so they can waste money on hi-tech phones, smoking and drinking their lives away.
Life handed to these people on a plate and still there are problems. Some of us have worked for our homes and have to pay for repairs to be made out of my own pocket. Sick of paying to keep them in these palaces so they can waste money on hi-tech phones, smoking and drinking their lives away. CllrDJGAZZAperky@HaydenMaSS
  • Score: 1

8:39am Thu 7 Aug 14

Arnylane says...

"Following on from benefit changes last year, there was a small increase in the number of people who fell behind on council tax payments."

Now from my reckoning the 4,000 additional summonses to the 10,000 the year before the benefit reforms doesn't equate to a small increase in the number of people who fell behind on council tax payments, it amounts to a 40% increase. (see cabinet report below)

http://ww5.swindon.g
ov.uk/moderngov/docu
ments/s68274/Council
%20Tax%20Recovery%20
and%20Debt%20Managem
ent.pdf

The relevant quote from the report:
"Many of these residents have had difficulty in finding these monies, and this has led to an increase in the summonses the Council has issued (an increase of approximately 4,000)."
"Following on from benefit changes last year, there was a small increase in the number of people who fell behind on council tax payments." Now from my reckoning the 4,000 additional summonses to the 10,000 the year before the benefit reforms doesn't equate to a small increase in the number of people who fell behind on council tax payments, it amounts to a 40% increase. (see cabinet report below) http://ww5.swindon.g ov.uk/moderngov/docu ments/s68274/Council %20Tax%20Recovery%20 and%20Debt%20Managem ent.pdf The relevant quote from the report: "Many of these residents have had difficulty in finding these monies, and this has led to an increase in the summonses the Council has issued (an increase of approximately 4,000)." Arnylane
  • Score: -1

9:12am Thu 7 Aug 14

Arnylane says...

Interestingly the same cabinet report states at paragraph 3.4 (see below) that the £700k costs income for 2013/14 went towards paying Capita for running the Council Tax service:

"3.4 When summonses are issued, the Council charges £60 costs to residents and a further £40 costs if it has to obtain a court order. These costs have been agreed with the Magistrates and are the same throughout Swindon and Wiltshire. In total, the Council received £700,000 of costs income in 2013/14 and this was used to offset part of the Capita cost of running the Council Tax service."

This appears to be a blatant admission that the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations are not being complied with. The law makes it categorically clear that these costs are not to be levied for the purpose of running the Council Tax department.
Interestingly the same cabinet report states at paragraph 3.4 (see below) that the £700k costs income for 2013/14 went towards paying Capita for running the Council Tax service: "3.4 When summonses are issued, the Council charges £60 costs to residents and a further £40 costs if it has to obtain a court order. These costs have been agreed with the Magistrates and are the same throughout Swindon and Wiltshire. In total, the Council received £700,000 of costs income in 2013/14 and this was used to offset part of the Capita cost of running the Council Tax service." This appears to be a blatant admission that the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations are not being complied with. The law makes it categorically clear that these costs are not to be levied for the purpose of running the Council Tax department. Arnylane
  • Score: -1

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