Search

A million households summoned for Council Tax arrears

PUBLISHED: 12:01 07 January 2009 | UPDATED: 13:56 05 October 2010

LOCAL authorities have sent out a million summonses for Council Tax arrears in the past 12 months, shock figures reveal this week. It follows a Freedom of Information request showing how many households were taken to court by Town Halls up and down the country in 2008 for not paying their council tax in full

By Julia Gregory

LOCAL authorities have sent out a million summonses for Council Tax arrears in the past 12 months, shock figures reveal this week.

It follows a Freedom of Information request showing how many households were taken to court by Town Halls up and down the country in 2008 for not paying their council tax in full.

The authorities also filed for bankruptcy against 1,700 people, according to Lib Dem politicians who made the Freedom of Information request.

Lib Dem Shadow Local Government secretary Julia Goldsworthy said: “Public bodies should do everything they can to ensure bankruptcy is only ever a last resort.

“This is not a licence to avoid paying bills—it’s about ensuring court appearances and bankruptcy are avoided where possible.”

But the methods used by individual authorities varied widely.

Tower Hamlets in East London filed 185 bankruptcy claims out of 37,000 households that were prosecuted.

That compares to just 27 bankruptcy files at nearby Southwark, across the Thames, out of 44,000 households taken to court.

The Opposition Lib Dem leader at Tower Hamlets, Stephanie Eaton, told the East London Advertiser today (Wednesday): “The council needs to put in place measures to help people who are in temporary arrears, such as debt counselling advice.”

Lib Dems are using the figures to renew calls for Council Tax to be replaced. They urge local authorities to follow a code of conduct to ensure people are not unnecessarily bankrupted during the recession, when families struggle with bills and mortgage repayments.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the East London Advertiser. Click the link in the yellow box below for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad. Coronavirus is one of the greatest challenges our community has ever faced, but if we all play our part we will defeat it. We're here to serve as your advocate and trusted source of local information.

In these testing times, your support is more important than ever. Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the East London Advertiser