Posted: Wed 1st Oct 2014

Flintshire County Councillor's chased for non payment of Council tax

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Oct 1st, 2014

Struggling to pay your council tax? your not alone! ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

A Freedom of Information (FOI) request placed with Flintshire County Council by Deeside.com has revealed up to eight Councillors have been ‘chased’ for non payment of their Council Tax. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Eight ‘reminder’ letters were sent between May 2012 and August 2014 to ‘forgetful’ councillors asking them to pay up council tax arrears. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Letters were dispatched to recover a total sum of £808.49  ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The breakdown of non payment figures leans towards the theory that no more than one single month had been missed by those councillors in arrears however, due to data protection rules we are unable to verify whether multiple letters have been sent to any one individual. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The breakdown of missed payment: ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

£68.59
£108.00
£34.45
£112.00
£112.00
£110.00
£112.45
£151.00  ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

It is also not known if any councillor has been issued with a liability order due to non payment of council tax. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

There will, of course, be administrative costs in sending out letters and chasing up payments, with the council funding crisis weighing heavy on every councillors mind, you would expect our elected members to demonstrate a little bit of leadership and avoid the extra needless cost to the council.  ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

According to the Audit Commission: ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

‘Where council tax goes uncollected it can deprive councils of the resources they need to deliver their spending plans. Depending on the amount uncollected, it may impact on their ability to fund services as they expect. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Previously uncollected council tax may also increase the council tax set in future years.’ ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

For those councillors who may have failed to pay once letters had been sent out (not that we are aware of any)the Flintshire County Council website  states: ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

‘The council can instruct an Enforcement Agent to collect outstanding Council Tax debt from you if a liability order has been issued in your name.’ ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

‘If the debt has been passed to an Enforcement Agent you will incur a fixed fee of £75 for each liability order when they issue a letter to you by post.’ ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

‘If you do not arrange to pay the Enforcement Agents, or arrange to make payment and then do not pay as agreed they will visit you. If they visit there is a fixed fee of £235 plus 7.5% for any balance due above £1500.’ ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Its not a problem unique to Flintshire although the numbers involved are significantly higher than neighbouring Wrexham Council for example, where an FOI request submitted by Wrexham.com found there were three councillors in arrears.  ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

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