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 Dartford Borough Council

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

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

Dear Dartford 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 and confirm if your council follows the seven Nolan Principles whilst in public office and accepts a letter sent after payment is made using your on-line and automated telephone system as is the case with other councils.

Yours faithfully,

Mrs. S Metcalfe

FOI (Dartford), Dartford Borough Council

Thank you for your FOI request which will be responded to within 20
working days unless the Council agrees an extension of time with you.

 

show quoted sections

2 Attachments

Dear Mrs Metcalfe

Freedom of Information Request: 773 - 2016

Thank you for your request received by Sevenoaks District Council on 21
November 2016.

In relation to your enquiry, please find the Council’s response set out
below.

Your enquiry was:

Please provide under the FOIA the law, custom or policy that states that a
council "Customer " must inform the council ahead of time that they will
be paying a sum to reduce the council tax bill to below the old Bankruptcy
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 in advance, ( 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 and confirm if your council
follows the seven Nolan Principles whilst in public office and accepts a
letter sent after payment is made using your on-line and automated
telephone system as is the case with other councils.

Our response:

The Council follows principles established by the courts regarding payment
allocation. Where a payment exactly matches an instalment due the council
tax system is set up to allocate the monies to that instalment. Where the
payment does not match, it is allocated to the oldest outstanding debt
first. When making a payment, if the customer specifies that they wish the
payment to be allocated towards a specific debt, the payment will be
allocated in accordance with their wishes.

 

We do not hold a formal definition of customer.

 

With regard to transparent services please refer to Dartford Borough
Council’s website via the link below

[1]http://www.dartford.gov.uk/by-category/c...

A letter sent after payment is made using the on-line and automated
telephone system would not most likely not reach the Council before the
payment was allocated and therefore would not be sufficient to indicate
where the payment should be allocated.

 

We cannot comment on the practices of other authorities.

 

Please note that Sevenoaks District Council and Dartford Borough Council
run a joint team for the provision of Revenues and Benefits and the
response is on behalf of both councils.

 

show quoted sections

Dear FOI,

Please confirm if Dartford Borough Council reallocates it's customers money to the correct year of intention when notified after a payment has been made by letter etc as is the case with other councils who follow the seven Nolan Principles in public office.

Or do you have a pre-warning in place on your website or on your bills informing your customers of how your payment system is setup.

Yours sincerely,

Mrs. S Metcalfe

autoresponder@sevenoaks.gov.uk,

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District Council.

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Neil Gilliatt (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

Dartford Borough Council's 24 November 2016 response:

"The Council follows principles established by the courts regarding payment allocation. Where a payment exactly matches an instalment due the council tax system is set up to allocate the monies to that instalment. Where the payment does not match, it is allocated to the oldest outstanding debt first. When making a payment, if the customer specifies that they wish the payment to be allocated towards a specific debt, the payment will be allocated in accordance with their wishes."

The Council must hold information regarding the specific case to support its statement that payment is allocated to the oldest outstanding debt first where the sum paid does not match an instalment.

Dear [email address],

This request is for the recorded procedures Sevenoaks District Council follow that ensures the Seven Nolan Principles are being followed by your council.

Other council's have had no problem confirming that they accept a letter sent after payment has a been made and abide by their customers intention as to which yearly account the payment was meant for, does Sevenoaks District council do the same ?

Yours sincerely,

Mrs. S Metcalfe

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Date: Fri, 20 Jan 2017 14:01:55 +0000
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Richard Taylor left an annotation ()

The problem here was a reply was sent to an address which doesn't accept replies.

To get round this problem select the option to reply to the main FOI email address for the body when replying.

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