As a result of changes in the law relating to freedom of information and data protection, North Norfolk District Council will publish information relating to individual councillors who are in council tax arrears which have resulted in Magistrate Court liability orders.
The recovery procedure followed by NNDC is the same for any tax payer who misses an instalment and is set out in national legislation.
Council Tax is an annual charge due on demand; however, legislation requires us to offer all customers a minimum of 10 monthly instalments by which to pay.
Legislation also dictates the subsequent process which has to be followed when payment is not made. If an instalment is missed, a reminder notice is issued giving seven days to pay the missed instalment.
If the tax payer fails to pay the missed instalment within those seven days, they forfeit the right to pay that year’s charge by instalments and a summons to appear at Court is issued after complaint has been made to the Magistrates Court. At Court, the Magistrates will grant a liability order if they are satisfied that the debt has not been paid.
In 2019/20 the council took action for the following amounts:
No liability orders were awarded in respect of Council Tax arrears for NNDC councillors.
The Council makes checks prior to its annual budget setting meeting on 27 February 2019 whether there are any councillors who are in arrears with their council tax payments at that time as this affects whether they are legally able to vote on the budget for that financial year. Where a councillor is in arrears they would be informed that they were not able to vote at the meeting. All councillors who attended and voted on the budget setting were up to date in their payments.
Information relating to elected members and council tax arrears was previously protected under the Data Protection and Freedom of Information Acts, however following a decision of the Upper Tribunal Administrative Appeals Chamber in March 2016 it can now be disclosed in the public interest. Prior to the change all such information relating to individual councillors was not published and was also not shared more widely within the authority and not shared with any other councillors including the Leader and Cabinet.