Bank Holiday Monday
Please be aware the Council offices will be closed for the Bank Holiday Monday on May 29th and will reopen on Tuesday, May 30th
As soon as you realise you have a problem paying you should immediately contact the council tax team or business rates team to discuss your situation.
If you have trouble making payments
Contact our council tax team or business rates team immediately using the details in the sidebar.
As soon as you realise you have a problem paying your bill you should talk to the Council immediately; we may be able to reschedule your payments or advise you of a reduction you might be entitled to.
Offer to pay by instalment
If you need to make different arrangements to pay your council tax, because you're finding it hard to meet your scheduled payments, or as a result of a summons, please download an offer to pay form.
Independent financial advice
Offers free, confidential and independent advice to help people deal with their debt problems and regain control of their finances.
Freephone: 0808 808 4000
The Money Advice Service
Free and impartial money advice, set up by the government which provides advice and guides to help improve your finances, tools & calculators to help you keep on track and plan ahead, and also offers support in person, over the phone, Freephone: 0300 500 5000 or online: https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en
StepChange Debt Charity
A national charity (formerly the Consumer Credit Counselling Service, or CCCS), that provides free debt advice. They can provide a debt management plan, or DMP, free of charge.
Freephone: 0800 138 1111 or visit the website www.StepChange.org
What we will do to recover unpaid revenue
What if I do not pay on time?
As soon as you realise you have a problem paying you should immediately contact the council tax team or business rates team
What action can the local authority take to recover council tax or business rates?
It is never too late to talk to us – at any point during the following proceedings it is possible to come to a sensible payment arrangement with us that will suit your circumstances.
To discuss a payment arrangement with the Council you should contact the council tax team or business rates team using the details in the sidebar, or by completing our offer to pay form.
It may also be possible to reduce your bill, for example if you live alone or on a low income. See our ‘Reducing your council tax’ or ‘Reducing your business rates’ pages.
The action we will take to recover council tax or business rates are as follows:
Failure to pay your account by the instalment date will result in the issue of a Reminder Notice. If the Reminder Notice is not paid within 7 days of receipt, we will after a further 7 days issue a Summons for non-payment at which time the full outstanding balance will become due.
Only one reminder notice will be issued for business rates, and two for council tax, in a financial year. If a subsequent instalment is not received by the due date, the Council will issue a final notice, demanding the total balance outstanding. You must pay this amount within seven days to avoid being sent a summons.
Save yourself hundreds of pounds!
The costs of issuing a summons, with additional enforcement agent costs, can quickly mount up to hundreds of pounds - on top of your debt.
Contacting us early about your debt problems can help avoid this.
If, after receiving one or both of the above notices, you do not make the payment demanded, the Council will apply to the local Magistrates' Court for a Summons to be issued against you and costs of £75 will be added to your account. At this stage you can still make an arrangement to pay the amount due by contacting the council tax or business rates teams.
If you do not pay the balance shown on the summons before the court hearing, the matter will be taken to the Magistrates Court and the Council will apply for a liability order. You will have the opportunity of attending the court, but this is only to determine your liability, not your ability to pay. Any questions relating to the banding or rateable value of your property, or claims relating to council tax support, will not be dealt with by the court.
What powers does a liability order give the Council?
A liability order gives us powers to collect your debt using different methods such as:
- Instructing enforcement agents to visit your property with the intention of removing your goods and for those goods to be sold at public auction to pay off your outstanding debt. This action will incur further costs to your account.
- Collecting what you owe directly from your employer or by deducting it from your benefits.
- Taking out a charge against your property.
- Starting bankruptcy or liquidation proceedings.
- Committal to prison.
At each of the above stages you will be sent more detailed information about any action we are taking.