March man arrested at work by court bailiffs and jailed for 28 days for Council Tax arrears

A MARCH man was jailed for 28 days this week for failing to pay more than �2,700 in Council Tax arrears.

Scott Smith, 30, of 53 New Park, March, was arrested at his place of work on Wednesday by court bailiffs and appeared before Peterborough magistrates to explain his continuing non-payment.

Committal proceedings had started more than two years ago and previous courts had given Smith opportunities to make payments.

A Fenland Council spokesman said: “Not only had he failed to take those opportunities, he had also ignored summonses to attend court to explain his non-payment”.

Since becoming liable for Council Tax at his home in April 2008, Smith had paid only �337.59 in five payments towards his Council Tax liability.

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He was represented in court by the duty solicitor, but offered no defence for non-payment of his Council Tax.

The magistrates said Smith had demonstrated culpable neglect over the debt and sentenced him to 28 days’ imprisonment for non-payment of �2,706.98 in Council Tax.

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Councillor John Clark, Fenland District Council’s portfolio holder responsible for finance, said: “Seeking imprisonment for non-payment of Council Tax is action that we take only as a last resort.

“We try and work with customers who are struggling to pay their liability but people need to take responsibility for their arrears. We would encourage anyone who has serious arrears to speak with us and to get debt management advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau. The important thing is to address the arrears and not ignore them.”

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