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Breckland Council failed to collect nearly £1m in council tax for 2011-12

18:08 16 August 2012

Breckland cabinet member Bill Smith

Breckland cabinet member Bill Smith

Breckland Council has said its council tax collection rate is back on track after government figures revealed it failed to collect £974,000 in 2011-12.

The council narrowly missed its target of collecting 98.4pc of council tax owed to it in the last financial year, achieving an actual collection rate of 98.2pc, itself a 0.1pc improvement on 2010-11.

Three Norfolk councils did better, with neighbouring Broadland collecting 99pc of the money owed to it in council tax, while three performed worse, with Norwich City Council bottom of the table with a collection rate of 94.6pc. It was owed £2.73m.

Breckland Labour leader Terry Jermy said the level of uncollected council tax meant council services could suffer as the authority tries to make savings of £3.5m in five years.

He said: “I think there will always be a level of uncollected tax, but you should always try to ensure you get as much as you can, and other areas are collecting more.”

However, Bill Smith, Breckland cabinet member for internal services, said the latest monthly figures showed it was now hitting all but one of its targets.

He said: “We were pretty close [last year] and the direction of travel is going up. I think on the whole Breckland is not doing too bad.

“We would like to get 100pc but I’m afraid we have to live in the real world. If we do find people who are not willing to pay, we are not afraid to chase them up and take them to court.”

He said some of the people who had not paid had moved out of the district or their circumstances had changed through no fault of their own, and that would be taken into account.

The Anglian Revenues Partnership, which Breckland set up with Forest Heath District Council in 2003, provides council tax, business rates and benefits services for them and East Cambridgeshire and St Edmundsbury.

4 comments

  • Does this mean that paying council tax is optional? That is a ridiculous amount of money not to have been collected! Are there consequences for this for non payers or for the council for not doing their job? I understand people may make late payments due to financial difficulties at times, and I also understand that people may object to paying so much every month for an 'invisible' service that is more expensive than all of their utility bills added together, I do not understand how the council have allowed the situation to get this out of hand.

    Report this comment

    Shanski

    Friday, August 17, 2012

  • Last year I made regular monthly payments but still got hounded by ARP and baliffs. On fighting them I won and got court costs removed as it was ARP's fault. They really do need to get their act together!! This year they messed up my Direct Debits because their computers are unable to divide the amount owed by the number of months to pay. They prefer to use a complicated 'best fit' calculation. The whole thing is a shambles

    Report this comment

    Jacob Burns

    Friday, August 17, 2012

  • It never ceases to amaze me how often Labour Cllr Terry Jermy uses an opportunity to get his name in the press as is the case with this article. Mr Jermy states “I think there will always be a level of uncollected tax, but you should always try to ensure you get as much as you can, and other areas are collecting more.” Talk about stating the bleeding obvious! So Mr Jermy how exactly does the council, of which you are a member, collect more council tax and what are you doing about it?

    Report this comment

    Lord Ticklebum

    Friday, August 17, 2012

  • Does this mean that paying council tax is optional? That is a ridiculous amount of money not to have been collected! Are there consequences for this for non payers or for the council for not doing their job? I understand people may make late payments due to financial difficulties at times, and I also understand that people may object to paying so much every month for an 'invisible' service that is more expensive than all of their utility bills added together, I do not understand how the council have allowed the situation to get this out of hand.

    Report this comment

    Shanski

    Friday, August 17, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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