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 by reviewing your instalment dates. We can also discuss whether you might be entitled to Council Tax Support, which will reduce your council tax bill.You can contact us preferably by email at email@example.com or by telephone on 01629 818222 (normal office hours Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm except on Tuesdays when we start at 10.30am).
- Debt Recovery was suspended until 30 June. We have now resumed debt recovery and are contacting customers who are in arrears with their payments for council tax, housing benefits overpayments or other debts. This initial stage will be to send “first” reminders to customers with overdue payments, but excluding customers who are in receipt of Council Tax Support (CTS). This will not only remind customers that they need to make payment, but it will also encourage customers who are experiencing problems to contact the Revenues team to discuss payments. We can also discuss whether you might be entitled to Council Tax Support, which will reduce your council tax bill. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01629 818222 to set up a payment arrangement. Setting up a payment arrangement and keeping to it will avoid potential additional costs.
- 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.
- Before deciding on the next steps for debt recovery, we will take account of the overall customer response to reminders. At the current time, we will not be passing cases to enforcement agents (bailiffs) or taking court action; though this will be reviewed in January.
- 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.
- The Government given the Council additional funding to provide a Council Tax Hardship Fund. This will assist those of working age who claim Council Tax Support. Eligible households will receive a credit on their council tax account. This will be £200 or the amount outstanding on your account if lower. You do not need to apply for this, if you are eligible it will be awarded automatically and you will be sent a new council tax bill.
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.