Fair Collection Charter
Support for residents and businesses with problem debt
20. We will fairly assess the resident's or business's ability to pay and where they are struggling, work with them to help them find a solution.
21. As well as advice or guidance we will support residents and businesses by working with other agencies to agree repayments that are affordable.
22. We have signed up to the Breathing Space initiative. This allows someone with problem debt the right to legal protection from their creditors for a period of up to 60 days provided that they engage in professional debt advice within this time. The agencies mentioned at the end of this charter can help further.
Council Tax Protocol
23. We have adopted the Council Tax Arrears Good Practice Protocol in partnership with Citizens Advice and the Local Government Association. This ensures better partnership working between the council and other enforcement and advice agencies to make sure money is collected in a fair way and help is available for vulnerable people.
Standard Financial Statement
24. We have adopted the Standard Financial Statement (SFS) as recommended by the Money Advice Trust. We will use this to work out affordable payments for people who are in financial difficulty.
Exceptional Hardship Discretion
25. We have the discretion to reduce the amount of council tax payable on a case by case basis where people can show evidence of exceptional hardship. Please ask for more information.
Covid-19 Hardship Fund 2021-2022
26. As part of the response to the Covid-19 pandemic, there is also additional funding available for 2021-2022 to support financially vulnerable households. Please ask for more information.
Council Tax Support Scheme
27. Council tax support can help towards the cost of council tax where residents are on a low income or receiving some other benefits. More information and an online form are available on our website.
28. From time to time there may be other initiatives ongoing which may make additional kinds of help or funding available. We work closely with our partners and can refer residents to other community organisations and charities for help.
29. We will only use enforcement agents where other action has been unsuccessful. Where a resident receives council tax support we will take a different approach. We have made a clear, public commitment to reduce the enforcement action we take.