FULL ADOPTION of the council tax protocol for debt collection was apporved by councillors.
This ensures that the council will work with enforcement agencies and Citizens Advice to help people pay their council tax bills while accessing debt advice, offer clear communication with residents as well as flexible payment arrangements for those in arrewars.
It also notes that where a resident receives Council Tax support, Wokingham Borough Council will consider matters carefully, including refraining from using enforcement agents.
Cllr Rachel Burgess praised the executive for signing the Council Tax Protocol last month, saying it was excellent news.
She said: “Building on this progress, this motion calls on the Council to fully adopt the protocol and put in place all that is stipulated within it, within this municipal year.”
“The wording of the motion itself includes some of the key areas that now need to be implemented.
“Examples include the 28-day so-called ‘breathing space’ for those who are actually seeking debt advice, or the use of the Standard Financial Statement to assess ability to pay: these are the kinds of details that now need to be put in place this year.
“But also this motion is a chance for all of us, as a full Council, to send a united message to our residents that we are committed to the principles of fairness, partnership working and transparency in council tax debt collection, and to show our full and unwavering support for the detail of this protocol.”
Mayor, Cllr Malcolm Richards, called for an immediate vote unless anyone wished to speak against the motion.
No one did, and the motion was carried.
The full protocol can be found here: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/Global/CitizensAdvice/campaigns/Council%20Tax/Citizens%20Advice%20Council%20Tax%20Protocol%202017.pdf