Thousands need reminder to pay

PUBLISHED: 12:55 04 May 2007 | UPDATED: 22:46 28 May 2010

FENLAND Council sent out more than 2,900 reminder letters to residents who have so far failed to pay their first Council Tax instalments for April and the council anticipates that at least half of them will be receiving court summonses later this month fo

FENLAND Council sent out more than 2,900 reminder letters to residents who have so far failed to pay their first Council Tax instalments for April and the council anticipates that at least half of them will be receiving court summonses later this month for ignoring the reminders.

The council is warning those sent summonses on May 15 will be forced to pay a £65 court cost on top of what they owe in Council Tax.

This year the council is getting tough with non-payers and is bringing court dates forward by a month. In the past, the first court date for non-payers was in July. This year it has been brought forward to June. In order to speed up the process of recovering Council Tax, the council has now initiated court hearings every month rather than every two months.

Last year 1,300 people were in the first batch of court appearances in July for non-payment of Council Tax. This year, with the first court hearing set to take place in June, the council estimates that the number of people receiving summonses will be significantly higher.

Non-payers are urged by the council to take the matter seriously and move quickly to pay their tax. Paying Council Tax is not something that can be avoided, but paying the hefty court cost and being forced to pay the annual total in one lump sum can be avoided very simply - by paying on time or by direct debit.

While the council is clamping down on late payers, it is also keen to work with people who have fallen into arrears for previous years. The council is urging those people in difficulty to telephone the council on 01354 654321 or make contact by e-mail on counciltax@fenland.gov.uk

The council is also keen to help people on low incomes to receive the support they need with paying their Council Tax or rent. Anyone who would like help can telephone the council on 01354 654321 or via e-mail on:benefits@fenland.gov.uk

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