19th Oct, 2017

Silhillians owe £4.2million in unpaid Council Tax

Sarah Mason 23rd Jul, 2015 Updated: 21st Oct, 2016

SILHILLIANS owe £4.2million in unpaid Council Tax – equivalent to an average of £47 per household – according to National Debtline.

The debt is slightly up on last year’s figure of £4.069 million.

The figures also show that a total of 266 calls for help with debt were made from the borough in the year.

According to National Debtline council tax is now the fastest growing type of debt problem it is helping clients to resolve – with 24 percent of all callers now in arrears, up from 14 percent in 2007.

This comes after Solihull Council was confirmed as having the highest collection rate of the West Midlands authorities.

Coun Robert Hulland, Cabinet Member for Resources and Delivering Value, said the Council know there are some customers that need support to pay or are struggling to manage their finances.

He added: “Residents who are unable to pay their Council Tax are urged to contact us, as we could offer an arrangement or alternative payment date which could suit their budget and stop them incurring additional costs.

“We can also offer advice and support for customers struggling with other debts, managing a budget or in need of support to claim benefits or tax credits.”

Joanna Elson OBE, chief executive of the Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs National Debtline, is urging anyone in Solihull who is struggling to make their Council Tax payments to contact National Debtline as soon as possible.

She added: “We are seeing more and more people seek help with Council Tax arrears – but the fact that Solihull residents owe £4.2 million makes us concerned that many more people in the area are struggling alone.

“We would like to see local authorities do everything they can to help residents who are falling behind to seek the free advice that can turn their lives around.

“We know that that the earlier a problem is caught, the better the outcome.”

National Debtline can be contacted 24 hours a day online at www.nationaldebtline.org and on 0808 808 4000, Monday to Friday 9am to 9pm, Saturday 9.30am to 1pm.

For more or to get help contact the connect centre on 0121 704 8100 or visit www.solihull.gov.uk/supporttosuccess

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