Two Huntingdonshire people in court for failing to pay Council Tax

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Two Huntingdonshire men have received suspended jail terms for failing to pay their Council Tax.

Richard Curtis, 40, of Duck Lane, St Neots, had Council Tax arrears of £3,308.81 and at Huntingdonshire Magistrates’ Court on November 5 admitted having money to pay the debt but not doing so.

Kevin Mercer, of Blenheim Court, Wyton, also failed to pay arrears of £5,409.33. Magistrates were told that Huntingdonshire District Council attempted to collect payment through arrangements and instructing bailiffs to remove possessions for sale, but both attempts failed.

An arrest warrant for Mercer was issued when HDC managed to trace him after he moved home without informing the council.

Both men were given three-month suspended sentences, ordered to pay £240 costs and arrest warrant fees of £75. Curtis will repay his arrears at £50 a week and Mercer will pay £30 a week.


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Councillor Barry Chapman, executive councillor for customer services, said: “Some people may feel that the use of court action is a harsh measure, but there comes a point when we are left with very little option.

“The majority of our residents pay on time by direct debit, and the action we are taking now ensures that these customers don’t need to pay extra Council Tax just because of the few who have not paid theirs.”

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Julia Barber, head of customer services at HDC, warned that reminder notice will be issued to those behind on their monthly payments. She added: “ With Christmas just around the corner, it makes sense to bring household bills up to date now, rather than facing an even bigger debt to clear in January. If arrears remain outstanding, customers risk having a summons issued, together with additional costs.”

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