Council Tax - An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law

Mrs. S Metcalfe made this Freedom of Information request to Hastings Borough Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was successful.

Mrs. S Metcalfe

Dear Hastings Borough Council

Council Tax - An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law

Please provide under the FOIA the law, custom or policy that states tha a council "Customer " must inform the council ahead of time that they will will be paying a sum to reduce the council tax bill to below the old Bankrutpcy level of £750 or the new level of £5000 in advance of the payment ?

Please also provide the precise section of the law, custom or policy that states unless a customer informs the council inadvance, ( even though they have been given no advance knowledge of this requirement by the council ) the council will take it upon themselves to keep any money the customer pays and will apply it to an earlier council tax liability order already secured on their home by a county court charging order .

Please provide your definition of "Customer" and what they can expect to receive in the way of transparent services .

Yours faithfully,

Mrs. S Metcalfe

Information Officer, Hastings Borough Council

Thank you for contacting us.
 
We aim to respond to requests for information within 20 working days, in
accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act. 
 
If your request is for personal information your request will be dealt
with according to the requirements of the Data Protection Act and the
timescale for response may be extended to 40 days.
 
The Freedom of Information area on our website, [1]www.hastings.gov.uk,
can be accessed via a 'Quick Hit' direct link from the site's home page
and contains advice about how to make a request for information.
 
Information about all our services, including contact details, location,
and links to information published by services on the site, is available
in the A to Z of Services area which can also be accessed via a 'Quick
Hit' direct link from the site's home page.
 
 
Information Officer
Hastings Borough Council
01424 451066
[2]www.hastings.gov.uk
 
 
 

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Information Officer, Hastings Borough Council

Dear Mrs Metcalfe,
 
I refer to your recent request for information from this Authority.  Our
answer(s) to your questions are below.
 
I trust we have interpreted your request correctly, and this is the
information you required.
 
You have a right to request an internal review if you are not happy with
any aspect of the way we have handled your
request for information.  Please contact me in writing with your request
for an internal review stating your reason why. I will then arrange
for your application for review to be dealt with. If you are then still
unhappy you may
complain to the Information Commissioner who will decide whether the
request has been handled properly.  Please note
that the Information Commissioner cannot generally make a decision unless
our internal review process has first been
exhausted.  The Information Commissioner can be contacted at The
Information Commissioners' Officer, Wycliffe House,
Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 AF 
 
 
 
Yours sincerely,
 
Lisa Greathead
Information Officer
Aquila House
Breeds Place
Hastings
TN34 3UY
01424 451066
E Mail: [1][email address]
 
Start of Request for Information
 
Council Tax - An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the
moral law
 
Please provide under the FOIA the law, custom or policy that states tha a
council "Customer " must inform the council ahead of time that they will
will be paying a sum to reduce the council tax bill to below the old
Bankrutpcy level of £750 or the new level of £5000 in advance of the
payment ?
 
Please also provide the precise section of the law, custom or policy that
states unless a customer informs the council inadvance, ( even though they
have been given no advance knowledge of this requirement by the council )
the council will take it upon themselves to keep any money the customer
pays and will apply it to an earlier council tax liability order already
secured on their home by a county court charging order .
 
Please provide your definition of "Customer" and what they can expect to
receive in the way of transparent services .
 
 
Information not held
 
Hastings Borough Council hold no information in respect of the above
request.
 
 
End of Request for Information
Please note:
This information is copyrighted to Hastings Borough Council and is
supplied for your personal use only. Except as permitted under the
Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, the information supplied may not
be copied, distributed, published, or exploited for commercial purposes or
financial gain without the explicit written consent of Hastings Borough
Council.
We do not give permission for this information to be used for the purposes
of direct marketing.
 
 
 

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Mrs. S Metcalfe

Dear Information Officer,

Please confirm if Hastings Borough Council is responsible for collecting council tax ?

Yours sincerely,

Mrs. S Metcalfe

Information Officer, Hastings Borough Council

Thank you for contacting us.
 
We aim to respond to requests for information within 20 working days, in
accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act. 
 
If your request is for personal information your request will be dealt
with according to the requirements of the Data Protection Act and the
timescale for response may be extended to 40 days.
 
The Freedom of Information area on our website, [1]www.hastings.gov.uk,
can be accessed via a 'Quick Hit' direct link from the site's home page
and contains advice about how to make a request for information.
 
Information about all our services, including contact details, location,
and links to information published by services on the site, is available
in the A to Z of Services area which can also be accessed via a 'Quick
Hit' direct link from the site's home page.
 
 
Information Officer
Hastings Borough Council
01424 451066
[2]www.hastings.gov.uk
 
 
 

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Information Officer, Hastings Borough Council

Dear Mrs Metcalfe

I refer to your recent e mail.

I can confirm that Hastings Borough Council is the billing authority and is responsible for collecting Council Tax.

Yours sincerely
Lisa Greathead
Information Officer

show quoted sections

Mrs. S Metcalfe

Dear Hastings Borough Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Hastings Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Council Tax - An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law'.

There is no law that states you can allocate money to a debt that has been secured without consent.

Customers are not required by law to make payments that match the Council Tax software system nor are they required to write in to you in advance of a payment nor are they expected to understand how your IT system is set up.

The Customers presumption is always to the current unsecured debt or they would have told you otherwise .

Do you allocate the payment to the current/oldest Unsecured debt ?

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c...

Yours faithfully,

Mrs. S Metcalfe

Information Officer, Hastings Borough Council

Thank you for contacting us.
 
We aim to respond to requests for information within 20 working days, in
accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act. 
 
If your request is for personal information your request will be dealt
with according to the requirements of the Data Protection Act and the
timescale for response may be extended to 40 days.
 
The Freedom of Information area on our website, [1]www.hastings.gov.uk,
can be accessed via a 'Quick Hit' direct link from the site's home page
and contains advice about how to make a request for information.
 
Information about all our services, including contact details, location,
and links to information published by services on the site, is available
in the A to Z of Services area which can also be accessed via a 'Quick
Hit' direct link from the site's home page.
 
 
Information Officer
Hastings Borough Council
01424 451066
[2]www.hastings.gov.uk
 
 
 

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Information Officer, Hastings Borough Council

Dear Mrs Metcalfe
 
I refer to your e mail dated 13^th July 2016 requesting an internal review
following your recent Freedom of Information request ref: 16/358.
 
Have been asked, as a senior officer of the council who has not been
involved in your case to look into how we handled your request.
 
Your request
 
Council Tax - An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the
moral law
 
Please provide under the FOIA the law, custom or policy that states tha a
council "Customer " must inform the council ahead of time that they will
will be paying a sum to reduce the council tax bill to below the old
Bankrutpcy level of £750 or the new level of £5000 in advance of the
payment ?
 
Please also provide the precise section of the law, custom or policy that
states unless a customer informs the council inadvance, ( even though they
have been given no advance knowledge of this requirement by the council )
the council will take it upon themselves to keep any money the customer
pays and will apply it to an earlier council tax liability order already
secured on their home by a county court charging order .
 
Please provide your definition of "Customer" and what they can expect to
receive in the way of transparent services .
 
The council replied on the 10^th June 2016
 
Information not held
 
Hastings Borough Council hold no information in respect of the above
request.
 
On the 22^nd June 2016 you asked the following question
 
Please confirm if Hastings Borough Council is responsible for collecting 
council tax ?
 
The council replied on the same day 22^nd June 2016
 
I can confirm that Hastings Borough Council is the billing authority and
is responsible for collecting Council Tax.
 
On the 13^th July you requested an internal review
 
Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information
reviews.
 
I am writing to request an internal review of Hastings Borough Council's
handling of my FOI request 'Council Tax - An unjust law is a code that is
out of harmony with the moral law'.
 
There is no law that states you can allocate money to a debt that has been
secured without consent.
 
Customers are not required by law to make payments that match the Council
Tax software system nor are they required to write in to you in advance of
a payment nor are they expected to understand how your IT system is set
up.
 
The Customers presumption is always to the current unsecured debt or they
would have told you otherwise .
 
Do you allocate the payment to the current/oldest Unsecured debt ?
 
A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on
the Internet at this address:
[1]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c...
 
Review
 
I can confirm that Hastings Borough Council holds no information in
relation to your original request dated 31^st May 2016
 
You raise the following question:
 
Do you allocate the payment to the current/oldest Unsecured debt ?
 
Our response to this question is: If a payment is made which does not
‘match’ the amount that is due, then the system allocates the payment to
the oldest debt as it cannot recognise which debt to pay.
 
I trust that this letter deals with your concerns.
 
If you are still unhappy with our response you may complain to the
Information Commissioner who will decide whether the request has been
handled properly.
 
Yours sincerely
 
Christine Barkshire-Jones
Chief Legal and Monitoring Officer
 
 

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Dear Information Officer,

Please confirm where the council gets its authoirty to allocate the money to a debt that has already been secured, without consent.

There is no law that states you can allocate money to a debt that has been secured without consent.

Yours sincerely,

Mrs. S Metcalfe

Information Officer, Hastings Borough Council

Thank you for contacting us.
 
We aim to respond to requests for information within 20 working days, in
accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act. 
 
If your request is for personal information your request will be dealt
with according to the requirements of the Data Protection Act and the
timescale for response may be extended to 40 days.
 
The Freedom of Information area on our website, [1]www.hastings.gov.uk,
can be accessed via a 'Quick Hit' direct link from the site's home page
and contains advice about how to make a request for information.
 
Information about all our services, including contact details, location,
and links to information published by services on the site, is available
in the A to Z of Services area which can also be accessed via a 'Quick
Hit' direct link from the site's home page.
 
 
Information Officer
Hastings Borough Council
01424 451066
[2]www.hastings.gov.uk
 
 
 

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Information Officer, Hastings Borough Council

Dear Mrs Metcalfe

I refer to your e mail dated 4th August 2016.

The Council’s software has built-in allocation rules to determine where a payment is posted, when there are debts for more than one year.
Payments will be allocated as follows:-
• An amount equal to an instalment on your current years bill will be allocated to that instalment.
• An amount that is equal to multiple instalments on your current bill will be allocated to the current years balance due. For example, you have £200 arrears for a previous years charge and the instalments for the current year are £100 per month. If you make a payment of £200 it will be allocated to the current year not the outstanding arrears.
• The oldest outstanding debt if the payment does not match an instalment.
• If your current instalments are up to date but you still have outstanding arrears from a previous year, the above rules will still be applied when any additional payments are made that match future instalment dates.
If you are paying an amount towards arrears for a particular year, you should advise the Council when making the payment which debt you want the payment allocated to.
There is no law, however the above is indicative of the allocation rules the majority of local authorities follow.

Yours sincerely
Lisa Greathead
Information Officer

show quoted sections

Dear Information Officer,

What is your criteria for your customers letting you know what the payment was intended for, because it is always presumed that the customer would expect their payment to be used towards the first unsecured debt rather than a debt already secured by the council would a letter sent shortly afterwards suffice as is the case with other council's ?

Yours sincerely,

Mrs. S Metcalfe

Information Officer, Hastings Borough Council

Thank you for contacting us.
 
We aim to respond to requests for information within 20 working days, in
accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act. 
 
If your request is for personal information your request will be dealt
with according to the requirements of the Data Protection Act and the
timescale for response may be extended to 40 days.
 
The Freedom of Information area on our website, [1]www.hastings.gov.uk,
can be accessed via a 'Quick Hit' direct link from the site's home page
and contains advice about how to make a request for information.
 
Information about all our services, including contact details, location,
and links to information published by services on the site, is available
in the A to Z of Services area which can also be accessed via a 'Quick
Hit' direct link from the site's home page.
 
 
Information Officer
Hastings Borough Council
01424 451066
[2]www.hastings.gov.uk
 
 
 

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Information Officer, Hastings Borough Council

Dear Mrs Metcalfe

I refer to your e mail dated 29th August 2016.

As per my previous response, allocation of monies is system generated.

I am unsure what is meant by ‘criteria’?

All I can reiterate is that money received is allocated in accordance with the rules of our system.

Yours sincerely

Lisa Greathead
Information Officer

show quoted sections

Dear Information Officer,

Hasting Borough Council is unsure of what 'critera' means , simply put, if your customers send you a letter shortly after payment letting you know what the payment is intended for, would this suffice as is in the case with other councils when payments are made on-line or by telephone automated payment system.

Please also confirm what the rules of your system are , do you allocate your customers money to the current/oldest unsecured debt which would be their presumption or the current/oldest secured debt?

Yours sincerely,

Mrs. S Metcalfe

Information Officer, Hastings Borough Council

Thank you for contacting us.
 
We aim to respond to requests for information within 20 working days, in
accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act. 
 
If your request is for personal information your request will be dealt
with according to the requirements of the Data Protection Act and the
timescale for response may be extended to 40 days.
 
The Freedom of Information area on our website, [1]www.hastings.gov.uk,
can be accessed via a 'Quick Hit' direct link from the site's home page
and contains advice about how to make a request for information.
 
Information about all our services, including contact details, location,
and links to information published by services on the site, is available
in the A to Z of Services area which can also be accessed via a 'Quick
Hit' direct link from the site's home page.
 
 
Information Officer
Hastings Borough Council
01424 451066
[2]www.hastings.gov.uk
 
 
 

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Information Officer, Hastings Borough Council

Dear Mrs Metcalfe

I refer to your email dated 26th September 2016.

Yes a letter would suffice.

As previously advised:

The Council’s software has built-in allocation rules to determine where a payment is posted, when there are debts for more than one year.
Payments will be allocated as follows:-
• An amount equal to an instalment on your current years bill will be allocated to that instalment.
• An amount that is equal to multiple instalments on your current bill will be allocated to the current years balance due. For example, you have £200 arrears for a previous years charge and the instalments for the current year are £100 per month. If you make a payment of £200 it will be allocated to the current year not the outstanding arrears.
• The oldest outstanding debt if the payment does not match an instalment.
• If your current instalments are up to date but you still have outstanding arrears from a previous year, the above rules will still be applied when any additional payments are made that match future instalment dates.
If you are paying an amount towards arrears for a particular year, you should advise the Council when making the payment which debt you want the payment allocated to.

Yours sincerely

Lisa Greathead
Information Officer

show quoted sections

Dear Information Officer,

Thank you for confirming that Hastings Borough Council accepts a letter sent after payment using your on-line or automated telephone system confirming what year the payment is to be used towards, as is the case with other councils.

Yours sincerely,

Mrs. S Metcalfe

Information Officer, Hastings Borough Council

Thank you for contacting us.
 
We aim to respond to requests for information within 20 working days, in
accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act. 
 
If your request is for personal information your request will be dealt
with according to the requirements of the Data Protection Act and the
timescale for response may be extended to 40 days.
 
The Freedom of Information area on our website, [1]www.hastings.gov.uk,
can be accessed via a 'Quick Hit' direct link from the site's home page
and contains advice about how to make a request for information.
 
Information about all our services, including contact details, location,
and links to information published by services on the site, is available
in the A to Z of Services area which can also be accessed via a 'Quick
Hit' direct link from the site's home page.
 
 
Information Officer
Hastings Borough Council
01424 451066
[2]www.hastings.gov.uk
 
 
 

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