Fenland Seven in court for not paying council tax
PUBLISHED: 10:19 13 February 2007 | UPDATED: 22:34 28 May 2010
EXCLUSIVE by JOHN ELWORTHY SEVEN home owners face being jailed by Fenland magistrates next month for refusing to pay their Council Tax. Fenland District Council says it is not a case of the people not being able to pay but more a case of them refusing to
EXCLUSIVE by JOHN ELWORTHY
SEVEN home owners face being jailed by Fenland magistrates next month for refusing to pay their Council Tax.
Fenland District Council says it is not a case of the people not being able to pay but more a case of them refusing to pay.
"They have been through the process of non-payment," said a council spokesman. "The bailiffs have been in, but got nothing. Now it's back to court with a view to getting them jailed for up to three months. They have the ability to pay, but they won't pay."
The 'Fenland Seven' owe amounts ranging from £1,000 to £4,000 and the council spokesman said they had been given "every opportunity to pay or to make stage payments, but to no avail". As a result the council had not choice other than to go back to court.
The threat of jailing seven non-payers is the toughest line yet taken by the council which earlier this year issued 658 summonses for non payment of Council Tax. In the event 102 paid up before their cases reach court.
The spokesman said defaulters owed the council between £150,000 and £200,000 which was money the council was determined to collect.
The council says its get-tough stance is working effectively, and it has £195,000 more in the kitty this year compared with last year.
The 'Fenland Seven' will appear before Fenland magistrates on March 1, the same day another 560 non-payers must answer fresh summonses issued by the council.
Councillor Fred Yeulett, the council's portfolio holder for enforcement, said: "Ultimately it will be cheaper for people to pay what they owe. Failure to pay means people will face court charges on top of their arrears."
The council has previously warned that, if necessary, it will also begin bankruptcy proceedings against those refusing to pay.