Councillors and Council Tax Arrears

Joanna Morris made this Freedom of Information request to Lancaster City Council as part of a batch sent to 426 authorities

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, Lancaster City Council should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.


I'm writing to you in the hope of obtaining information relating to the number of reminder letters and summons sent to elected councillors in your authority area since 2015/16.

I'd prefer to receive the information in Excel spreadsheet - xlsx or xls - format and if you cannot provide the information in full, I would like to request that you provide as much as you are able to within the cost and time limits of the Act.

If you need clarification or can suggest ways in which the request can be refined in order for it to be successful, I'd be grateful if you could contact me as soon as possible.

Please note that there is precedent for councillors to be named in relation to this issue - the High Court ruled in March 2015 that they should not have their identities protected when it comes to non-payment of council tax.

I'd like to know the following:

1. How many unpaid council tax reminders were sent to councillors elected in your authority between 2015/16 and 2017/18? Please break down by financial year?

2. How many councillors were summonsed to court or given summary warrants in the same period? Again, please break down by financial year.

3a. How many reminders were issued to the councillors named? Please break down by year.

3b. For each instance, please provide the name of each councillor, the party they represent or represented at the time and the amount of council tax owed according to sums requested in the letter. Please also provide the amount of council tax that remains outstanding.

3c. Please also state for each councillor, whether they were barred from voting on the council's budget as a result of their council tax arrears and whether any summons received resulted in a court hearing going ahead.

I'd be grateful if you could provide the information for questions 1 and 2 as totals for your authority and present the rest of the information within a spreadsheet with the following columns:

Financial Year - Authority Name - Councillor Name - Party - No of Reminders - No of Summons - Amount Owed According to Reminders - Court Hearing Y/N - Outcome of Hearing - Banned from Voting Y/N - Current Sum Outstanding

Yours faithfully,

Joanna Morris

info, Lancaster City Council

3 Attachments

Dear Ms Morris,

I write to confirm receipt of your request for information, which was
received on 12th April 2019 and is now being processed under the Freedom
of Information Act 2000. Your request has been given the unique reference
number as stated in the subject header above and you should quote this
reference number in all correspondence. You should receive our response
within 20 working days; this means that you can expect to receive the
requested information by 15th May 2019. If we are unable to deal with your
request within that time limit or the Council does not hold the
information or there is a reason for it to be withheld, we will promptly
advise you in writing.

If you have any queries or concerns then please do not hesitate to contact
me. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future

Kind regards,

Amy Holland

Information Governance Manager

Data Protection Officer

Email: [1][Lancaster City Council request email]

Tel:      (01524) 58 2000


Governance (Information Governance), Town Hall, Lancaster LA1 1PJ

[2][Lancaster City Council request email]                                                              

Website: [3]


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