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Millions owed in council tax payments

by Lynn Cox

People in Medway owe more than £9 million in council tax payments.
The sum of uncollected cash for the last financial year stands at £9.395 million.
This includes arrears still to be collected from the last few years.
It is up on the previous years, when it stood at £8.4 million in 2007/08 and £8.1 million the year before.
A report by Medway council suggests the rise in uncollected cash is due to the current economic situation.
The council says it will be doing all it can to collect the arrears.
A spokesman said: “The council will continue to take recovery action against those who have not paid as it always has.
“This will include use of reminders and final notices followed by a court summons and then the bailiffs, attachment of earnings, deduction form state benefits, bankruptcy and possibly imprisonment as is deemed appropriate in each particular case.
“Where there is genuine hardship, the council will try to resolve the issue by suggesting benefits and/or offering longer repayment periods in the short term.
“There has been a considerable increase in the number of people wanting to spread their installments from the normal 10 months (April to January) to 12, and these requests have, in the main, been granted.
“This of course means that collection will be behind at this stage but should catch up again in February and March.”

During 2008/09 £91.766 million was collected.
Gross arrears as at 31/03/09 were £9.395m.
During 2007/08 £87.770 million was collected.
Gross arrears as at 31/03/08 were £8.384m.
During 2006/07 £84.108 million was collected.
Gross arrears as at 31/03/07 were £8.117m.

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