FOI request (FOIR-114028118)
Councillors and Council Tax Arrears
Requested Mon 15 April 2019
Responded Wed 08 May 2019
I'm writing to you in the hope of obtaining information relating to the number of reminder letters and summons sent to elected councillors in your authority area since 2015/16.
I'd prefer to receive the information in Excel spreadsheet - xlsx or xls - format and if you cannot provide the information in full, I would like to request that you provide as much as you are able to within the cost and time limits of the Act.
If you need clarification or can suggest ways in which the request can be refined in order for it to be successful, I'd be grateful if you could contact me as soon as possible.
Please note that there is precedent for councillors to be named in relation to this issue - the High Court ruled in March 2015 that they should not have their identities protected when it comes to non-payment of council tax.
I'd like to know the following:
1. How many unpaid council tax reminders were sent to councillors elected in your authority between 2015/16 and 2017/18? Please break down by financial year?
2. How many councillors were summonsed to court or given summary warrants in the same period? Again, please break down by financial year.
3a. How many reminders were issued to the councillors named? Please break down by year.
3b. For each instance, please provide the name of each councillor, the party they represent or represented at the time and the amount of council tax owed according to sums requested in the letter. Please also provide the amount of council tax that remains outstanding.
3c. Please also state for each councillor, whether they were barred from voting on the council's budget as a result of their council tax arrears and whether any summons received resulted in a court hearing going ahead.
I'd be grateful if you could provide the information for questions 1 and 2 as totals for your authority and present the rest of the information within a spreadsheet with the following columns:
Financial Year - Authority Name - Councillor Name - Party - No of Reminders - No of Summons - Amount Owed According to Reminders - Court Hearing Y/N - Outcome of Hearing - Banned from Voting Y/N - Current Sum Outstanding
2015/2016 - 6
2016/2017 - 1
2017/2018 - 11
2015/2016 - 1
2016/2107 - 0
2017/2018 - 0
Q3 - No Summonses received resulted in a Court Hearing going ahead
Q3a - Names of councillors will not be provided as these are exempt under Section 40(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 'personal data' this is an absolute exemption and will not be disclosed.
1 - Labour
Reminder 13th Nov 2017, £226.02, withdrawn after issue
Final Notice 8th Jan 2018, £814.89, withdrawn after issue
Reminder 13th Feb 2018, £270.89
2nd Reminder 12th Mar 2018, £271.00
£342.17 balance brought forward to 2018/19
2 - Labour
Reminder 13th May 2015, £94.06
2nd Reminder 15th June 2015, £94.06
Final Notice issued 30th June 2015, £876.06
Summons 23rd Jul 2015, £784.00
Reminder 13th Jun 2016, £101.00
Reminder 16 Oct 2017, £282.00
Final Notice 31 Oct 2017, £655.00
Reminder 15th Jan 2018, £92.00
2nd Reminder 13th Feb 2018, £92.00
Final Notice 27th Feb 2018, £92.00
3 - Labour
Reminder 13th May 2015, £112.00
2nd Reminder 15th Jun 2015, £112.00
Final Notice 04 Jan 2016, £224.00
Reminder 12th Sep 2017, £120.00
2nd Reminder 12th Dec 2017, £120.00
Q3 c - No councillors have been barred from voting on the council's budget as a result of their council tax arrears.
Freedom of Information