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Daughter’s fury at Thanet District Council’s 1p tax bill for dead dad from Ramsgate


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A grieving daughter was chased for her dead dad’s outstanding council tax bill of a single penny.

Sarah Venn contacted Thanet District Council last month to notify it of her father Stephen’s passing.

Ms Venn says she was filled with anger when she received the bill from Thanet District Council
Ms Venn says she was filled with anger when she received the bill from Thanet District Council

But shortly afterwards - on the day after her dad's funeral - the 34-year-old received a letter from the authority saying she needed to pay a 1p levy for his Ramsgate home.

“I was flabbergasted. I was in shock at first, and then I was so angry,” she said.

“For the first time ever, I was left to deal with all of the accounts and everything that comes from losing a loved one.

“Every day is a reminder that he is gone as I see his name and there is a physical pain.

“My pain and grief quickly turned to anger and hatred when I received the bill. For the sake of 1p, you’d think they’d let me be and let me grieve.”

Ms Venn says the letter arrived at her home the day after her father’s funeral.

She attempted to pay online, but the council’s payment system would not even accept the “small and pathetic” sum.

“This may have been computer-generated - that’s the only way I can think this whole thing had happened,” Ms Venn added.

“It’s just inhuman - that’s not a normal thing to do. This needs to never happen again. It’s heart-breaking getting letters with his name on anyway, so to have one come through that’s completely unnecessary [is worse].”

The authority has launched an investigation into the gaffe, but says it has not yet worked out why the bill was sent.

Stephen Venn died on January 13 after a battle with cancer
Stephen Venn died on January 13 after a battle with cancer

A council spokeswoman has apologised for the mistake, insisting there is no need for Ms Venn to pay the meagre figure.

She said: “We have software in place that runs on a daily basis to ensure council tax bills for 1p are not sent to any of our customers.

“This has been reported to our software providers to investigate further as a matter of urgency.

“The bill should not have been issued and there is no requirement to make payment of the 1p.

“We are very sorry that our procedure has failed on this occasion, and for the distress this matter has caused.”

Stephen died from cancer on January 13 at the age of 68.

Read more: All the latest news from Thanet

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