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Council Tax summons - Encompassing unlawful expenditure

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kasturba Lalbhai

Dear Waltham Forest Borough Council,

In reference to paragraph 170 of ANNEX A of the below document:

http://taxpayersagainstpoverty.org.uk/wp...

“....the court costs charged reflect not only the issue of the summons itself and the administration relating to the issue of the summons but also to the on-going enforcement action carried out within the Revenues Department. This will also include staffing, IT, accommodation and other central support costs.

The recovery of Council Tax debts continues after the issue of a summons in order to secure payment of the debt through the various recovery methods available. The costs charged assist with funding these actions”

The approach to include expenditure incurred after the liability order has been obtained artificially inflates court summons costs which law does not permit. The law requires that the costs claimed are properly referable to the enforcement process (See paragraphs 35 and 50 of the High Court judgment in Nicolson v Tottenham Magistrates [2015]) http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admi...

Please disclose all recorded details held by the Council relating to the relevant legal officer's involvement in approving the inclusion of expenditure in the Council Tax court summons costs charged to the Borough's residents for the above stated purpose.

Yours faithfully,

kasturba Lalbhai

Do not reply, Waltham Forest Borough Council

Re: FOI case FOIX279914

Subject:

Council Tax summons - Encompassing unlawful expenditure

Description:

In reference to paragraph 170 of ANNEX A of the below document:

[1]http://taxpayersagainstpoverty.org.uk/wp...

“....the court costs charged reflect not only the issue of the summons
itself and the administration relating to the issue of the summons but
also to the on-going enforcement action carried out within the Revenues
Department. This will also include staffing, IT, accommodation and other
central support costs.

The recovery of Council Tax debts continues after the issue of a summons
in order to secure payment of the debt through the various recovery
methods available. The costs charged assist with funding these actions”

The approach to include expenditure incurred after the liability order has
been obtained artificially inflates court summons costs which law does not
permit. The law requires that the costs claimed are properly referable to
the enforcement process (See paragraphs 35 and 50 of the High Court
judgment in Nicolson v Tottenham Magistrates [2015])
[2]http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admi...

Please disclose all recorded details held by the Council relating to the
relevant legal officer's involvement in approving the inclusion of
expenditure in the Council Tax court summons costs charged to the
Borough's residents for the above stated purpose.

Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for your recent request for information. Your request was
received on 13 Apr 2017 and we are dealing with it under the terms of the
Freedom of Information Act (2000), and in line with the Council's policy
and protocols.

In some circumstances a fee may be payable and if that is the case, we
will let you know. A fees notice will be issued to you, and you will be
required to pay before we will proceed to deal with your request.

If you have any queries about this message, please contact us via email
at: [3][email address] or by post at:

The London Borough of Waltham Forest
Town Hall
Forest Road
London
E17 4JF

Please remember to quote the reference number FOIX279914 in any future
communications.

Kind regards,
The Information Officer

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1. http://taxpayersagainstpoverty.org.uk/wp...
2. http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admi...
3. mailto:[email address]?subject=FOI%20Query

Revenuesfoi, Waltham Forest Borough Council

2 Attachments

Please find attached the response to your FOI request submitted to the
London Borough of Waltham Forest on 13 April 2017.

 

Kind Regards

 

Liz Appiah

Application & Project Procurement Officer

L B Waltham Forest

0208 496 8383

[email address]

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intended only for the addressee(s). It may contain privileged and
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it. If you have received this e-mail in error, please inform the sender as
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Information Regulations 2004.

kasturba Lalbhai

Dear Revenuesfoi,

Thank you for providing a breakdown of the council's enforcement costs which are associated with Council Tax recovery.

Can you please disclose all recorded details held by the Council relating to the relevant legal officer's involvement (presumably the Monitoring Officer) in approving the inclusion of the expenditure described in my request.

Yours sincerely,

kasturba Lalbhai

Do not reply, Waltham Forest Borough Council

2 Attachments

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    Freedom of Information request Council Tax summons Encompassing unlawful expenditure.html

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Please see attached response sent to requester by email on 9.5.17

CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: The information contained in this e-mail is
intended only for the addressee(s). It may contain privileged and
confidential information and, if you are not the intended recipient, you
must not read, copy or distribute it, nor take any action in reliance upon
it. If you have received this e-mail in error, please inform the sender as
soon as possible and delete the e-mail from your computer. E-mail may be
corrupted or altered during or after transmission. We accept no
responsibility for changes made to this e-mail after it was sent. Whilst
we take reasonable steps to identify software viruses, any attachments to
this email may contain viruses which our anti-virus software has failed to
identify. No liability is accepted for such viruses, and we therefore
recommend that you carry out your own anti-virus checks before opening any
attachments. Information contained in this e-mail may be subject to public
disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or the Environmental
Information Regulations 2004.

kasturba Lalbhai

Dear Waltham Forest Borough Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Waltham Forest Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Council Tax summons - Encompassing unlawful expenditure'.

I asked for the disclosure of details held by the Council relating to the Monitoring Officer's involvement in approving the inclusion of expenditure in the summons costs for the on-going enforcement action carried out after the issue of a summons in order to secure payment of the debt.

I have had two responses neither of which have provided the information I requested.

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,

kasturba Lalbhai

Information Officer, Waltham Forest Borough Council

Dear Customer

Thank you for contacting the Information Officer.

We will aim to respond to your email within 3 working days.

If you have submitted a Freedom of Information (FOI) request we will
supply the information requested within 20 working days of the date your
request was recieved.  A reference number will be provided when your
request has been uploaded onto our system.

Next time why not visit our website and submit your FOI request or
Complaint online. 

[1]https://portal.walthamforest.gov.uk

 

If you have submitted a Subject to Access request we will supply the
information requested within 40 calendar days.

 

Thank you

Information Officer

 

CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: The information contained in this e-mail is
intended only for the addressee(s). It may contain privileged and
confidential information and, if you are not the intended recipient, you
must not read, copy or distribute it, nor take any action in reliance upon
it. If you have received this e-mail in error, please inform the sender as
soon as possible and delete the e-mail from your computer. E-mail may be
corrupted or altered during or after transmission. We accept no
responsibility for changes made to this e-mail after it was sent. Whilst
we take reasonable steps to identify software viruses, any attachments to
this email may contain viruses which our anti-virus software has failed to
identify. No liability is accepted for such viruses, and we therefore
recommend that you carry out your own anti-virus checks before opening any
attachments. Information contained in this e-mail may be subject to public
disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or the Environmental
Information Regulations 2004.

References

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1. https://portal.walthamforest.gov.uk/

Information Officer, Waltham Forest Borough Council

Dear Kasturba,

Thank you for your email

I acknowledge receipt of your request on 19th May 2017

I have logged your request under our reference number REV 2017 0021

The Council has 20 working days in which to respond to your request. Therefore, a response to your request will be sent to you on or by 16th June 2017

Kind regards,

James Kealey
Information Officer
Business Hub
London Borough of Waltham Forest
Email: [email address]

Follow us @wfcouncil
Website: www.walthamforest.gov.uk

show quoted sections

Nalda Russell-Stowe, Waltham Forest Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear kasturba Lalbhai,

 

Please find attached our response to your request for a review of your FOI
request.

 

Nalda Russell-Stowe

Head of Revenues & Benefits

London Borough of Waltham Forest

 

Tel:  020 8496 8480| Ext: 8480|[1][email address]
| Room 212 Town Hall, Forest Road, Walthamstow E17 4JF

 

Twitter: @wfcouncil 

Website: [2]www.walthamforest.gov.uk

  

Our ambition is that everybody in Waltham Forest enjoys a quality life.

 

 

CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: The information contained in this e-mail is
intended only for the addressee(s). It may contain privileged and
confidential information and, if you are not the intended recipient, you
must not read, copy or distribute it, nor take any action in reliance upon
it. If you have received this e-mail in error, please inform the sender as
soon as possible and delete the e-mail from your computer. E-mail may be
corrupted or altered during or after transmission. We accept no
responsibility for changes made to this e-mail after it was sent. Whilst
we take reasonable steps to identify software viruses, any attachments to
this email may contain viruses which our anti-virus software has failed to
identify. No liability is accepted for such viruses, and we therefore
recommend that you carry out your own anti-virus checks before opening any
attachments. Information contained in this e-mail may be subject to public
disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or the Environmental
Information Regulations 2004.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.walthamforest.gov.uk/

kasturba Lalbhai left an annotation ()

Response to the review......

"I can advise that Council Tax summons costs are calculated on an annual basis based on previous year’s expenditure. The value of the charge is approved by the Council’s Section 151 Officer who is the Strategic Director of Finance and Governance, John Turnbull. It is the Council’s view that the decision concerning the correct amount of costs to charge in any one case lies with the Unit Head of Revenues pursuant to paragraph 11.6.3 of the Council’s General Scheme of Delegation.

The function of Monitoring Officer is undertaken by the Director of Governance and Law, Mark Hynes. I can advise that neither Mr Hynes nor other legal officers in the Council have any involvement in the approval of Council Tax summons costs. This is because the Councils legal services are not instructed to carry out the issuing of summonses on behalf of the Council."

kasturba Lalbhai

Dear Nalda Russell-Stowe,

Would you please clarify the significance of the statement which was made regarding the Councils legal services not being instructed to carry out the issuing of summonses on behalf of the Council?

Are you saying that the Councils legal services are not part of Waltham Forest Borough Council?

Apart from that, I understand that one of the monitoring officer's three main roles is to report on matters he or she believes are, or are likely to be, illegal or amount to maladministration. It would therefore appear that the monitoring officer's function is to take responsibility for all decisions where there is potential for legal challenge.

Yours sincerely,

kasturba Lalbhai

Dear Nalda Russell-Stowe,

I am writing to remind you that I have had no response nor acknowledgement to my 4 August email.

Yours sincerely,

kasturba Lalbhai

Nalda Russell-Stowe, Waltham Forest Borough Council



I will be out of the office until Wednesday 30 August and will not be
able to respond to your enquiry.  Please note also that your email has not
been forwarded. If your enquiry is urgent please redirect to one of my
colleagues below.

Revenues (Council Tax & Business Rates)
Wendy Gibbs
Telephone:020 8496 8341
Email:[email address]

Housing Benefit & Council Tax Support
Samantha Cornelius
Telephone: 020 8496 8316
Email: [email address]

For all other enquiries
Wendy Kow-Loomes
Telephone: 0208 496 8305
Email: [email address]

CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: The information contained in this e-mail is
intended only for the addressee(s). It may contain privileged and
confidential information and, if you are not the intended recipient, you
must not read, copy or distribute it, nor take any action in reliance upon
it. If you have received this e-mail in error, please inform the sender as
soon as possible and delete the e-mail from your computer. E-mail may be
corrupted or altered during or after transmission. We accept no
responsibility for changes made to this e-mail after it was sent. Whilst
we take reasonable steps to identify software viruses, any attachments to
this email may contain viruses which our anti-virus software has failed to
identify. No liability is accepted for such viruses, and we therefore
recommend that you carry out your own anti-virus checks before opening any
attachments. Information contained in this e-mail may be subject to public
disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or the Environmental
Information Regulations 2004.

Nalda Russell-Stowe, Waltham Forest Borough Council

3 Attachments

Dear kasturba Lalbhai,

Please accept my apologies for the time taken to respond to your request for clarification of my response to your request for a review under the FOIA. My response is now attached.

Nalda Russell-Stowe
Head of Revenues & Benefits
London Borough of Waltham Forest

Tel: 020 8496 8480| Ext: 8480|[email address] | Room 212 Town Hall, Forest Road, Walthamstow E17 4JF

Twitter: @wfcouncil
Website: www.walthamforest.gov.uk

Our ambition is that everybody in Waltham Forest enjoys a quality life.

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