Councillors and Council Tax Arrears

The request was successful.

Hello,

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

FOI, Stevenage Borough Council

Thank you for your recent request for information, which is now being handled in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Your reference number, should you wish to note it, is 25704. The Council will provide you with the information requested by 16 May 2019, unless there is a legitimate reason preventing its release.

If the Council is unable to provide the information, you will be informed of the reasons in writing.

Yours sincerely

Thomas Sloan
Customer Insight Advisor
Corporate Projects, Customer Services & Technology

Stevenage Borough Council | Daneshill House | Danestrete | Stevenage | SG1 1HN
S 01438 242242
[email address]
www.stevenage.gov.uk

Follow us on Twitter - http://twitter.com/stevenagebc
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Our Privacy Policy has been updated to reflect changes to data protection legislation and can be viewed at www.stevenage.gov.uk/privacy-policy

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FOI, Stevenage Borough Council

Dear Ms Morris

Please see below response to your FOI request:

To summarise-

1.How many unpaid Council Tax reminders were sent to Councillors
2015: 6
2016: 3
2017: 3

2.How many Councillors were summonsed ?
2015: 1
2016: 2
2017: 2

3.a) How many reminders issued to Councillors named?
2015 2 Councillors, 1 issued 2, 1 issued 4.
2016 2 Councillors, 1 issued 1, 1 issued 2.
2017 1 Councillors, 1 issued 1, 1 issued 2.

b) Please see spread sheet for councillors named, highlighted in yellow.
Council tax database does not contain details of the party that they represent.
Whether Council Tax is paid in full.

c) Council Tax database does not contain details of whether a Councillor is barred from voting

Kind regards

Thomas Sloan
Customer Insight Advisor
Corporate Projects, Customer Services & Technology

Stevenage Borough Council | Daneshill House | Danestrete | Stevenage | SG1 1HN
S 01438 242242
[email address]
www.stevenage.gov.uk

Follow us on Twitter - http://twitter.com/stevenagebc
Like us on Facebook - http://facebook.com/sbc

Our Privacy Policy has been updated to reflect changes to data protection legislation and can be viewed at www.stevenage.gov.uk/privacy-policy

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FOI, Stevenage Borough Council

2 Attachments

Sorry, forgot atttachments

Thomas Sloan
Customer Insight Advisor
Corporate Projects, Customer Services & Technology

Stevenage Borough Council | Daneshill House | Danestrete | Stevenage | SG1 1HN
S 01438 242242
[email address]
www.stevenage.gov.uk

Follow us on Twitter - http://twitter.com/stevenagebc
Like us on Facebook - http://facebook.com/sbc

Our Privacy Policy has been updated to reflect changes to data protection legislation and can be viewed at www.stevenage.gov.uk/privacy-policy

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FOI, Stevenage Borough Council

Dear Ms Morris,

Re Freedom of Information – (FOI F/25704/S1/1)

We write further to your request for information.

It has come to our attention that the FOI responses we initially sent to
you in 2 emails dated 18 April 2019, are incomplete and may contain
information that is incorrect. We need to check our response to ensure
that all information intended for release into the public domain is
accurate.

Please can we request that the information provided to you is not
published until we have completed our further checks and provided you with
an updated response, which we will do as soon as possible.  We apologise
for any inconvenience caused, but as you can fully appreciate, it’s
important the council ensures that all information we provide in our FOI
responses is correct, especially if disclosure of the information involves
the release of personal information regarding our councillors.

We ask that you kindly acknowledge receipt of this email and confirm that
you will not release any information until we have provided you with an
updated response.

Kind Regards

Thomas Sloan

Customer Insight Advisor

Corporate Projects, Customer Services & Technology

Stevenage Borough Council | Daneshill House | Danestrete | Stevenage | SG1
1HN

(  01438 242242

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Hello,

Further to your email in April, I have had no update regarding this FOI request - please could you send over your revised response as soon as you're able?

Yours sincerely,

Joanna Morris

FOI, Stevenage Borough Council

2 Attachments

Dear Ms Morris,

We write further to your request for information. We apologise for the
delay responding to you. Please find our clarified response below:

Requested Information

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.

Clarified Response

Q1: Answers

2015: 8                                             

2016: 7                                             

2017: 10                                          

                                                                

Q2: Answers     
                                                                

2015: 1                                             

2016: 1                                             

2017: 2                                             

                                                                

Q3: Answers

2015: 3 Councillors: 2 issued x 2, 1 issued x
4.                                                             

2016: 2 Councillors: 1 issued x 1, 1 issued x
3.                                                             

2017: 3 Councillors: 1 issued x 1, 1 issued x 3, 1 issued x 6.

Q3 (b): Please find attached table.

Q3 (c ): Please find attached table.

Yours sincerely

Ms D Williams

Freedom of Information & Data Protection

Stevenage Borough Council

Direct Phone: (01438) 242218

Daneshill House, Danestrete, Stevenage, Herts, SG1 1HN

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place reliance on it. If you have received this E-Mail in error, please
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the message. The views expressed in this message are personal and not
necessarily those of Stevenage Borough Council.

Please be aware that E-Mails sent to or received from Stevenage Borough
Council may be intercepted and read by the Council. Interception will only
occur to ensure compliance with Council policies or procedures or
regulatory obligations, to prevent or deter crime, or for the purpose of
essential maintenance or support of the E-Mail system.

Our Privacy Policy has been updated to reflect changes to data protection
legislation and can be viewed at www.stevenage.gov.uk/privacy-policy

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