"Anyone having trouble paying their council bills should get in touch with their local authority for financial help and advice as soon as possible.”
Responding to a Citzens Advice report which proposes some changes to the way councils recover council tax debt, Cllr Richard Watts, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Resources Board, said:
“Councils have a duty to their residents to collect taxes so important services, like caring for older and disabled people, protecting children, fixing roads and collecting bins are not affected. They strive to recover unpaid tax as sympathetically as possible and to provide support to households at risk of financial exclusion or hardship.
“As the Citizens Advice report makes clear, this needs to be supported by better guidance and funding. Councils would be in favour of it being made easier for them to recover money without having to use bailiffs, and would support the removal of the requirement for the entire annual sum to become payable if an instalment is missed.
“Bailiffs should only ever be used as a last resort by councils. Before it gets to that stage, people will have been encouraged to apply for financial support by their council. Anyone having trouble paying their council bills should get in touch with their local authority for financial help and advice as soon as possible.”