Errors, Mistakes And who was notified.

Paul Melville made this Freedom of Information request to Valuation Office Agency

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 partially successful.

Dear Valuation Office Agency,

I have recently been made aware by media reports and websites that some properties in England were possibly banded incorrectly by errors made in the valuations of the properties.

I wish to make a F.O.I request to assess if I have been affected by these errors / mistakes, and what if any attempts were made by the V.O.A to make these errors / mistakes known to myself or those in authority who make judgements on those affected including myself, by any possible errors / mistakes made with valuations and therefore council tax bands.

A) Were any properties in England incorrectly banded due to errors or mistakes made in the property valuation.

B) Have any successful appeals been made by council tax payers or property owners since 1993, and have any council tax payers or property owners been awarded or refunded monies due to these errors.

C) Were local authorities (council's, the collector of council taxes) or Magistrates, the Magistrates courts (prosecutors of alleged non payers), County courts or any higher courts or judges within the justice system made aware of the errors / mistakes in valuations if any.

D) Did or has the V.O.A directly made or made any such attempt to contact or release through a national statement to council tax payers or property owners including myself to make them aware that possibly there could be or that the V.O.A was sufficiently or directly aware of errors / mistakes made in property valuations that could affect the council tax bands of their properties.

E) Property values are subject to many factors that change over time like availability, areas subject to anti-social problems, available on street parking and charges for local parking, crime and local statistics increasing such things as vehicle insurance and property insurance adding to the cost of home ownership, local authorities or council's failing in their duties to keep areas clean and tidy and therefore affecting marketability or marketable value of properties. Does the V.O.A consider these factors as reasonable effects that would allow property owners or council tax payers to appeal the valuation of the property and therefore the council tax band.

F) And finally City Status.... In 1993 I purchased a modest property in the historical City of Rochester (Kent) and was very proud to see this printed on the top of the deed and title to my home. For centuries City status was bestowed upon Rochester in Kent, England and the history and heritage of this fine City known to many through the works and writings of Charles Dickens.

In 1998 with the amalgamation of three councils and authorities the old borough council of Rochester and the newly formed unitary authority of Medway negligently failed to apply for letters patent and lost City status for Rochester failing to perpetuate the ancient name and the long history and proud heritage of the City of Rochester.

For several years attempts have been made by the leader of Medway council Rodney Chambers OBE to bid for City Status for the Medway Towns, each attempt being unsuccessful. Rodney Chambers OBE has stated clearly that City Status would bring in outside investment and therefore jobs and wealth to the area. Therefore I ask if the V.O.A would accept the loss of City Status for Rochester as a reasonable claim to appeal the council tax bands for properties which were in the City of Rochester as we are now under the unitary authority of Medway as a district and no longer reside in the historical City of Rochester.

Yours faithfully,

Paul Melville

Oxley, Christopher, Valuation Office Agency

Dear Mr Melville

Our ref: 11754838.1/CEO

Thank you for your below email requesting information about errors in the Council Tax lists.

Your requests are being dealt with under the above act and will be replied to within 20 working days; this will be no later than 25 January 2013.

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 your requests, please contact the Valuation Office Agency's FOI inbox on [voa request email] . Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

Yours sincerely

Christopher Oxley

Customer Service Team | Customer Service Caseworker | [voa request email]

Chief Executives' office | Valuation Office Agency 3rd Floor Wingate house 93/107 Shaftesbury Avenue, London,
W1D 5BU

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Oxley, Christopher, Valuation Office Agency

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Melville

Our ref: 11754838.1/CEO

Please find the attached response to your email below.

Yours sincerely

Christopher Oxley

Customer Service Team | Customer Service Caseworker | [voa request email]

Chief Executives' office | Valuation Office Agency 3rd Floor Wingate house 93/107 Shaftesbury Avenue, London,
W1D 5BU

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