Pay your outstanding Council Tax: bailiffs are on patrol

THERE may have been no Porsches seized this year, but bailiffs sent out to round up the last of Huntingdonshire’s unpaid Council Tax for the year to April have been eyeing up property owned by people reluctant to pay their way.

The bailiffs patrolled the district in tow trucks, equipped with automatic number plate recognition cameras, and were prepared to remove vehicles unless debtors arranged outstanding payment.

Unlike a few years ago, when one man who refused lost his treasured German sports car, 2011 seems to have been a fair cop for most, according to Huntingdonshire District Council, which collects the tax for the county and parish councils and the police and fire authorities. HDC’s share is only around eight per cent of the tax collected.

The debt collectors’ arrival is unlikely to take debtors by surprise. They will have received at least five reminder letters and a magistrates’ court before finally being ‘encouraged to pay what they owe.

HDC revenue manager Ian Davies told The Hunts Post: “We collected �4,000 in the first three days, along with eight arrangements totalling around �7,600 to clear debts within 60 days.

“We hope the [debt collectors’] presence will have alerted people to the need to pay. We are going to continue.”

HDC and neighbouring South Cambridgeshire District Council both routinely collect more than 99 per cent of Council Tax owed, among the highest collection rates in England, perhaps partly because they levy some of the lowest local tax rates in the country.

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INFORMATION: If you have Council Tax arrears, you should contact the local taxation recovery team on 01480 388030 or the bailiff if your case has already been passed to them for collection, Newlyn Plc 01604 633001 or Rossendales Ltd on 0844 701 3980.