We will make sure that any government support is passed through to you as soon as practically possible. We have therefore introduced measures to try to ease some of the pressures you may be experiencing.
Measures for residents
- If, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, you are struggling to make your normal payments – such as Council Tax - then please contact us and we will do what we can to assist you (see contact details below).
- Debt Recovery was suspended until 30 June 2020, after which a light touch approach was adopted. Over the last few months lockdown restrictions have been gradually eased and, with effect from 19 July, the rest of the restrictions are planned to be lifted. The Council has a duty to collect council tax and other debts to fund public services, and to take action if payments are overdue, and must now fulfil its duty and resume full debt recovery activities.
- Therefore, if you have not paid your council tax or other debts in accordance with your bill, we may contact you about the action that will be taken to collect the overdue balance. However, if you have been affected and believe you will have difficulty meeting your instalments, we are here to help.
- If you need help with your council tax, please contact us on 01629 818222 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can help you to get your payments back on track or provide help and advice if you are experiencing financial difficulties. Customers who are facing financial hardship at the current time will be able to defer payments until later in the financial year if they contact us to set up a payment arrangement. Setting up a payment arrangement and keeping to it will avoid potential additional costs.
- We can also discuss whether you might be entitled to Council Tax Support, which will reduce your council tax bill. If you need advice or assistance with this, please contact email@example.com.
- If you need help with any other invoice that we have sent to you, please contact us on 01629 761369 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can help you to get your payments back on track or provide help and advice if you are experiencing financial difficulties.
- We have a Housing Benefit Overpayment recovery officer, who is writing to residents who have an outstanding balance to settle. Customers with outstanding benefit overpayments are encouraged to contact Alison Hancock on her direct dial 01246 936397 or email her on email@example.com to make an arrangement to pay, discuss any problems preventing a payment or to request an invoice number to facilitate a payment.
- The Council’s Council Tax Support (CTS) Scheme provides financial support to households with low incomes. We would encourage those who wish to make a claim to do so as soon as possible and we’ll be prioritising these claims to get support to eligible households as soon as we can.
If you wish to claim Council Tax Support please complete our online form or telephone us on 01629 818222.
- As part of 'our' Local Council Tax Support Scheme, we also award a discretionary top up to the 'normal' CTS award where someone can demonstrate that they are finding it difficult to keep up with payments on their balance. Please contact your Benefits Team for advice in this respect.
We are aiming to do this as soon as possible but need to ask for your patience as we implement these major changes to our systems and payment processes.
The District Council has issued rates reliefs for 2020/21 and 202122 to a long list of businesses, including properties mainly used as shops, restaurants, cafés, pubs, cinemas, leisure, gyms, tourism, hotels and nurseries.
If, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, you are struggling to make your normal business rates payments then please contact us and we will do what we can to assist by reviewing your instalment dates to defer payments until later in the financial year. You can contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On 15 December 2021 the Government announced a new Covid-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF) and published guidance on the operation of the fund and details of the funding allocation for each local authority.
This new relief is for business rate payers who have not been eligible to receive business rates reliefs under other government schemes. The relief is available to reduce chargeable amounts in respect of 2021/22.
The District Council is required to establish a local discount scheme to determine which businesses to support.
The policy for this local scheme is currently being drafted for consideration by Council Members and will be published on the website when available.
The aim of the new relief is to support ratepayers who have been adversely affected by the pandemic and have been unable to adequately adapt to that impact.
However, please note that the Government rules mean that the new relief will NOT be given to:
* ratepayers who for the same period of the relief either are or would have been eligible for the Extended Retail Discount (covering Retail, Hospitality and Leisure), the Nursery Discount or the Airport and Ground Operations Support Scheme (AGOSS), or
* to premises for a period when it is unoccupied (other than premises which have become closed temporarily due to the government’s advice on COVID-19).
Please monitor this website for more information.
Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Relief Scheme for 2022/23At the Budget on 27 October 2021 the Chancellor announced the introduction of a new business rates relief scheme for retail, hospitality and leisure properties worth almost £1.7 billion in 2022/23. This will support the businesses that make our high streets and town centres a success and help them to evolve and adapt to changing consumer demands.
On 20 December 2021 the Government published details of the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Relief Scheme for 2022/23.
The 2022/23 Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Rates Relief Scheme will provide eligible, occupied, retail, hospitality and leisure properties with a 50% relief, up to a cash cap limit of £110,000 per business (applied across all of their premises in England).
The District Council is required to adopt a local scheme and determine in each individual case when, having regard to this guidance, to grant relief.