Unpaid Council Tax leads to prison sentences

Published: Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Two residents were handed a total of 140 days in prison for non-payment of Council Tax adding up to over £11,000 it was announced today.

Mr Terance Malby of Hornchurch was sentenced to 80 days for unpaid Council Tax totalling £7,901.28 and Mr Darren Halls of Harold Hill was given 60 days for not paying his £3,346.26 bill.

Both were sentenced at Barkingside Magistrates Court on Thursday 17 November.

Councillor Clarence Barrett, Cabinet Member for Financial Management, ICT (Client) and Transformation, said:

“It is everyone’s legal duty to pay Council Tax where due. The services it pays for includes protecting children from abuse, supporting vulnerable adults and caring for older people. It provides libraries, parks, cleans our streets. It maintains our roads as well as rubbish collections, street lights and a host of other services.

“Those who refuse to pay are being subsidised by those who do, and that is simply not on.

“These sentences amply demonstrate that the Council will use every power it has to collect what is owed to the Borough, including the courts.”

The easiest way to pay Council Tax is via direct debit, which has no additional costs for the payee, although there are a range of options for residents to pay the Bill.

If a resident is finding it difficult to pay, they are urged to contact the Council immediately so a plan can be put in place to help them. Ignoring the problem will not make it go away, and the additional charges usually lead to an increased debt along with concern and stress.