Amount Bournemouth Borough & BCP Council were overcharged for summonses by The Ministry of Justice.

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Dear Bournemouth Borough Council, and newly formed Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole Council,
The Ministry of Justice said court fees for council tax summons had been set too high since 2013-4 following an "administrative error".

Could you please supply me with the following information:-
1. How much were Bournemouth Borough Council and newly formed BCP Council overcharged for each of the following years?
2. Have Bournemouth Borough Council and BCP Council now received a full refund?
Yours faithfully,
Warren Bell

BCP Council Enquiries, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council

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Financial Services - SVPP FOI Requests, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council

Dear Mr Bell,

Freedom of Information Request
I am writing to acknowledge your request for information received by BCP Council on 01/09/2020.

We are dealing with your request and will be in contact with you again.

A response will be made within 20 working days, either supplying you with the information which you have asked for, or explaining why we cannot supply it. If we need any further clarification we will contact you.

Yours sincerely

Megan Clark
Level 5 Supervisor Development and Asset Management Team
SVPP Operations
T. 0345 034 4569

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Financial Services - SVPP FOI Requests, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council

Dear Mr Bell,

Information Request – Freedom of Information Act

Further to your request for information received on 01/09/2020 please find below the material that you asked for.

1) BCP Council came into effect on 1 April 2019, so any overcharged fees would relate to the previous Councils. Poole and Christchurch have nothing for any of the years. The amount overcharged is not recorded, but the number of summons issued (for Council Tax and Business Rates) from Bournemouth Borough Council was
2013-14 - 10,825
2014-15 - 15,459
2015-16 - 11,904
2016-17 - 11,981
2017-18 - 10,481
2018-19 - 11,616

2) No, the Government have not refunded Council's. The understanding is that anyone who believes they may have paid too much for court services between April 2014 and March 2018 can apply to the Government for a refund -

I hope that this deals with your request satisfactorily.

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Following a reorganisation of local government in Dorset, this response is from Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council. Information provided will cover these 3 areas.

If you are dissatisfied with this response you can ask for an internal review. The purpose of an internal review is to assess how your Freedom of Information request was handled in the first instance and to determine whether the original response provided met with the requirements of the legislation. You can request an internal review by email to BCP Council Enquiries [email address]. You should make a review request within 40 working days of this response.

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of the Council’s review you have the right to refer the matter to the Information Commissioner’s Office. Contact details for the Information Commissioner can be found at:

Yours sincerely

Megan Clark
Level 5 Supervisor Development and Asset Management Team
SVPP Operations
T. 0345 034 4569

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Dear Financial Services - SVPP FOI Requests,
Q1 Out of all the summonses issued how many were issued for council tax liability order hearings?
Q2 Was the cost of issuing a summons added to overall amount owed by an individual at the liability order hearing?
Q3 Due to the overcharging for a liability order summons would that have rendered the sum certain claimed by the council as incorrect?
Q4 Would that mean that individuals had enforcement started after the issuing of a liability order for incorrect amounts due to the overcharging of the summons?

Yours sincerely,
Warren Bell

Dear Financial Services - SVPP FOI Requests,
Further to the above questions, please can you explain why you are claiming £266,000 customer support services as a cost 'incurred' for gaining council tax summonses.

Yours sincerely,
Warren Bell