West Somerset Council backtrack over £19 unpaid council tax

NIGEL Gates from Carhampton with letters from West Somerset Council overturning their decision. PHOTO: Ash Magill.

NIGEL Gates from Carhampton with letters from West Somerset Council overturning their decision. PHOTO: Ash Magill.

First published in News This is The West Country: Photograph of the Author by

A DISGUSTED Carhampton man has spoken of his relief after he was told he would not be facing court over £19 unpaid council tax.

Nigel Gates, 40, said he was threatened with court action by West Somerset Council after failing to pay the last two amounts of his council tax.

The single parent said he had explained his situation to the authority.

He said: “I am wheelchair bound and had explained to the council that I couldn’t get out to pay it.

“I’m unable to set up a direct debit because I don’t always have the necessary funds coming in.

“They said that they had sent me letters saying that if I didn’t pay I would be taken to court but I never received those letters, if I had I would have found some way of paying it or I would have contacted them straight away.”

The authority made a u-turn saying there had been an admin error and scrapped Nigel’s charges.

He added: “I was only £19 in arrears, it’s not like I owed hundreds of pounds.

“I think it’s just ridiculous.”

A spokesperson for West Somerset Council said: “The Council has a duty to ensure council tax is collected.

“If a payment is overdue, reminders will be sent out before a final notice is issued.

“The reminders are designed to be helpful, offering people the opportunity to talk to the Council if they are having problems in making payments.

“The Council can work with an individual to work out a suitable payment plan and would encourage anyone who may be in arrears, even for a relatively small sum, to make contact as soon as possible.”

  • For help with council tax, call 01643-703704 or email: revenues@westsomerset.gov.uk

Comments (3)

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6:43pm Sun 20 Jul 14

Dr Dave says...

Hold on! I'll withhold £19 from my council tax bill and see what response I get! Surely he could pay it via internet banking???
Hold on! I'll withhold £19 from my council tax bill and see what response I get! Surely he could pay it via internet banking??? Dr Dave
  • Score: 7

8:13pm Sun 20 Jul 14

GreatOdin'sRaven says...

Why couldn't he have paid it over the phone when he "contacted the council to explain his situation"? Or sent a cheque? If he "couldn't get out to pay it" for two months, does that also mean that for those two months, he did no shopping either or had nobody that could go on his behalf? It does indeed appear ridiculous. He claims not to have received any reminders, yet whatever letters he's holding in the photo got to him just fine. It certainly looks like a string of excuses to which the council have relented to so as to avoid bad publicity because he's in a wheelchair.
Why couldn't he have paid it over the phone when he "contacted the council to explain his situation"? Or sent a cheque? If he "couldn't get out to pay it" for two months, does that also mean that for those two months, he did no shopping either or had nobody that could go on his behalf? It does indeed appear ridiculous. He claims not to have received any reminders, yet whatever letters he's holding in the photo got to him just fine. It certainly looks like a string of excuses to which the council have relented to so as to avoid bad publicity because he's in a wheelchair. GreatOdin'sRaven
  • Score: 9

8:56pm Sun 20 Jul 14

jellyonaplate says...

Hang on a minute! If I didn't pay all my council tax I'm pretty sure I would have to go to court. What's going on? What's happened about being treated equally, disabled or not?
Hang on a minute! If I didn't pay all my council tax I'm pretty sure I would have to go to court. What's going on? What's happened about being treated equally, disabled or not? jellyonaplate
  • Score: 4

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