A scheme has been launched to defer Council Tax payments for anyone struggling financially due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Most people in the district will have now received their Council Tax bills, but Huntingdonshire District Council is offering

a two-month payment deferral for the months of April and May.

The council has said payments can be pushed back until June to offer financial assistance to those who are being affected by the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic.

An online form is available which allows residents to request for their payments be deferred until the summer, offering a break at a time when many people’s finances are likely to be altered due to reduced or abnormal working caused by the virus outbreak.

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Executive leader of the council, Councillor Ryan Fuller, said: “These truly are unprecedented times for residents and local authorities alike, but it’s our responsibility as a council to find new ways to do all we can to support our communities.

“The repercussions of the Coronavirus outbreak should not rest solely with the residents of Huntingdonshire when local authorities can step up, and I have already been clear that the district council will do everything it can to help our communities. We are therefore offering council taxpayers the opportunity to defer the start of their council tax payments until June.

“It’s important to remember that HDC collects council tax on behalf of the county council, fire service, police and town/parish councils. I had hoped to reach an agreement with these other authorities that would have allowed every household within Huntingdonshire a two-month payment holiday. However, for cashflow reasons of their own some were unable to agree to this so HDC will step up and provide its own two-month payment deferral for those residents that need it, whilst ensuring that we continue to pass payments to the other local authorities.

“As council tax funds the essential frontline services and support that we, and other authorities, are currently delivering I would ask those residents than can continue to pay Council Tax from April to please do so. For those that require additional support at this time please rest assured that HDC is there to help you.”

HDC says Direct debit customers whose income is temporarily affected and wish to suspend their Council Tax payments for April and May can do so by starting their payments instead from June, with the additional option to extend the instalment plan until March 2021.

Some people may wish to spread their payments over 12 instalments rather than 10. Residents are encouraged to visit www.huntingdonshire.gov.uk/ctdelay, to read all available information and to request the deferred start in their Council Tax payments for the 2020/2021 year.