We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Helen Barker please sign in and let everyone know.

Exercising discretion when applying to the court for a Council Tax Liability Order

We're waiting for Helen Barker to read recent responses and update the status.

Dear North East Lincolnshire Council,

The Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992 (the "Regulations") confer a duty on the billing authority to exercise discretion under regulation 34(1) when deciding whether to institute a complaint to the Magistrates' court to enforce payment.

Regulation 34(1) as amended by Regulation 15 of SI 1992/3008 states, with the relevant part emphasised, as follows:

"If an amount which has fallen due under paragraph (3) or (4) of regulation 23 (including those paragraphs as applied as mentioned in regulation 28A(2)) is wholly or partly unpaid, or (in a case where a final notice is required under regulation 33) the amount stated in the final notice is wholly or partly unpaid at the expiry of the period of 7 days beginning with the day on which the notice was issued, THE BILLING AUTHORITY MAY, in accordance with paragraph (2), apply to a magistrates' court for an order against the person by whom it is payable."

Regulation 34(2) states as follows:

"The application is to be instituted by making complaint to a justice of the peace, and requesting the issue of a summons directed to that person to appear before the court to show why he has not paid the sum which is outstanding."

The following are examples (but by no means exhaustive) of what are reasonable factors a recovery officer should take into account in exercising discretion to institute a complaint to the Magistrates court under paragraph (2) of regulation 34 of the Regulations:

1. the level of debt outstanding

2. any payments made subsequent to the full amount becoming due and time remaining of the financial year

3. are circumstances indicative of the debt being settled without resorting to enforcement

4. consider if enforcing the debt would unnecessarily subject the taxpayer to additional costs etc. and therefore amount to a penalty (see 3 above)

5. ensure monies have been prioritised to maintaining the in-year debt

6. allocate to the in-year any monies posted to arrears (or sufficient of it) that would if it had not been misallocated prevented the in-year liability also falling in arrears (see 5 above)

7. check for benefit claims or appeals already in the system and refrain from taking enforcement action where such genuine cases are unresolved

Q1. Does North East Lincolnshire Council exercise discretion before proceeding to the Magistrates' court to seek permission to enforce payment (it may be an automated process)

Q2. If yes to (1) what factors are taken into consideration

Yours faithfully,

Helen Barker

Freedom Of Information (NELC), North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Sir / Madam

I am pleased to acknowledge your request for information, which has been allocated the reference number NELC/17004/1920.

Your request has been passed to the relevant department and you can expect your response within the 20 working day limit. If it will take us longer than 20 working days to respond to you, we will inform you of this and provide you with the expected date for receiving a response.

Please note, whilst we will continue to make every effort to respond promptly to your request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI), this may be delayed due to urgent operational priorities in responding to the current Coronavirus pandemic. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause but trust you will appreciate the reasons why in the current circumstances. We do remain committed to responding to your request and will respond as soon as we are able. Should our response to your FOI request breach the statutory timeframe you have the right to complain to the Information Commissioners Office and you can contact them at:

Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane,Wilmslow,Cheshire,SK9 5AF, Helpline telephone: 0303 123 1113 Website: https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint/
More information can be found on the ICO’s website: https://ico.org.uk/about-the-ico/news-an...

Further information about how we will deal with your Freedom of Information requests is available on our website at:

https://www.nelincs.gov.uk/council-infor...

Please feel free to contact me if you require any further information or assistance quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

North East Lincolnshire Council

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Freedom Of Information (NELC), North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Sir or Madam

 

Thank you for your information request, reference number 17004_2021.

 

I wish to confirm that North East Lincolnshire Council holds the following
information.

 

Q1. Does North East Lincolnshire Council exercise discretion before
proceeding to the Magistrates' court to seek permission to enforce payment
(it may be an automated process)

 

Yes.

 

Q2. If yes to (1) what factors are taken into consideration

 

North East Lincolnshire Council can confirm that all factors are taken
into consideration.

 

If you believe that your request for information has not been handled in
accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, you have the right to
request an internal review by the Council. Please be clear about which
elements of the Council’s response or handling of the request you are
unhappy with, and would like the Council to address during the internal
review process. If following this you are still dissatisfied you may
contact the Office of the Information Commissioner. If you wish to request
an internal review, please contact me and I will make the necessary
arrangements.

 

Yours sincerely on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council

 

Feedback Officer

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dear Freedom Of Information (NELC),

Can you please list all the factors to complete your response.

Yours sincerely,

Helen Barker

Dear Freedom Of Information (NELC),

I have been alerted to the fact that my request could have been clearer. It is therefore a possibility that North East Lincolnshire Council's response does not correspond to the request I intended to make.

I would probably have removed any ambiguity if I had asked the following in respect of request 1:

Does North East Lincolnshire Council exercise discretion before proceeding under regulation 34(2) of the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992 to request a summons from a justice of the peace (it may be an automated process)

Yours sincerely,

Helen Barker

Freedom Of Information (NELC), North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Sir / Madam

 

Thank you for your information request, reference number NELC/17004/2021.
I can confirm that North East Lincolnshire Council holds the following
information:

 

Q2. If yes to (1) what factors are taken into consideration 

 

North East Lincolnshire Council can confirm that the following factors are
taken into consideration:

 

1. the level of debt outstanding

 

2. any payments made subsequent to the full amount becoming due and time
remaining of the financial year

 

3. are circumstances indicative of the debt being settled without
resorting to enforcement

 

4. consider if enforcing the debt would unnecessarily subject the taxpayer
to additional costs etc. and therefore amount to a penalty (see 3 above)

 

5. ensure monies have been prioritised to maintaining the in-year debt

 

6. allocate to the in-year any monies posted to arrears (or sufficient of
it) that would if it had not been misallocated prevented the in-year
liability also falling in arrears (see 5 above)

 

7. check for benefit claims or appeals already in the system and refrain
from taking enforcement action where such genuine cases are unresolved

 

If you believe that your request for information has not been handled in
accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, you have the right to
request an internal review by the Council. If you wish to request an
internal review, please write to us detailing the reasons why. Please be
clear about which elements of the Council’s response or handling of the
request you are unhappy with, and would like the Council to address during
the internal review process.  If following this you are still dissatisfied
you may contact the Office of the Information Commissioner.

 

Yours sincerely

 

North East Lincolnshire Council

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dear Freedom Of Information (NELC),

Has this request been taken seriously?

I see it as too much of a coincidence that my suggested considerations match exactly with what the council claims to take into consideration before exercising discretion whether to issue a summons.

I also would like confirmation that the clarification I provided on 8 April has been taken into account and reflects its response.

Yours sincerely,

Helen Barker

Freedom Of Information (NELC), North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Sir / Madam

Thank you for your further correspondence in relation to information
request reference number NELC/17004/1920.

Your further correspondence has been passed to the relevant department and
you can expect your response within the 20 working day limit. If it will
take us longer than 20 working days to respond to you, we will inform you
of this and provide you with the expected date for receiving a response.

Please note, whilst we will continue to make every effort to respond
promptly to your request for information under the Freedom of Information
Act 2000 (FOI), this may be delayed due to urgent operational priorities
in responding to the current Coronavirus pandemic. We apologise for any
inconvenience this may cause but trust you will appreciate the reasons why
in the current circumstances. We do remain committed to responding to your
request and will respond as soon as we are able. Should our response to
your FOI request breach the statutory timeframe you have the right to
complain to the Information Commissioners Office and you can contact them
at:

Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water
Lane,Wilmslow,Cheshire,SK9 5AF, Helpline telephone: 0303 123 1113 Website:
[1]https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint/

More information can be found on the ICO’s website:
[2]https://ico.org.uk/about-the-ico/news-an...

Further information about how we will deal with your information request
is available on our website at:

[3]https://www.nelincs.gov.uk/council-infor....

If you have any queries or require further assistance, please contact us.

Yours sincerely,

North East Lincolnshire Council

 

 

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Dear Ms Barker,

 

Thank you for your recent Freedom of Information request to North
Lincolnshire Council, reference number INF 2004002. Please find our
Information Disclosure letter attached and if I can be of any more
assistance with regard to this request please let me know.

 

Kind Regards

 

Charlotte Spencer

Senior Information Governance Officer

Information Governance Team

 

( 01724 296224

* North Lincolnshire Council, Church Square House, 30-40 High Street
Scunthorpe North Lincolnshire DN15 6NL

 

[1][IMG]

This e-mail expresses the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the view of the Council. Please be aware that anything included in an e-mail may have to be disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act and cannot be regarded as confidential. This communication is intended for the addressee(s) only. Please notify the sender if received in error. All Email is monitored and recorded.
Please think before you print- North Lincolnshire Council greening the workplace.

References

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1. http://www.gov.uk/safehelp

Freedom Of Information (NELC), North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Sir / Madam

We are contacting you to update you in relation to the information request
you raised with North East Lincolnshire Council. Whilst we will continue
to make every effort to answer your enquiry promptly, this may be delayed
due to urgent operational priorities in responding to the current
Coronavirus pandemic. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause
but trust you will appreciate the reasons why in the current
circumstances. We do remain committed to responding to all enquiries as
soon as we are able.

Should our response breach statutory timeframes you have the right to
complain to the Information Commissioner, details on how to do this can be
found on their website [1]https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint/. However,
please be aware that the Information Commissioner may not take your
complaint at this time.

 

At present we cannot commit to a deadline as this situation is
unprecedented and is constantly evolving.

 

If I can be of any further assistance or if you have any queries please
get in touch.

Yours sincerely,

North East Lincolnshire Council

 

 

 

 

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Dear Freedom Of Information (NELC),

Thank you for your response.

The information disclosed conflicts with the council's website and various other information I have seen. For example, the Local Government Ombudsman's website publishes a number of decisions opposing the claim that the council considers if enforcing the debt would amount to a penalty, as it does that the council ensures monies are prioritised to maintaining the in-year debt.

The council's website indicates that no discretion is exercised before requesting the issue of a summons and the procedure is effectively automated (the defendant incurs a £60.00 sum for that action). From the council's website it is reasonable to assume that the customer then has the option to agree a payment plan as an alternative to enforcement, providing he keeps to the agreed conditions, which include that a Liability Order is obtained and the arrangement includes the £60.00 court costs. This is presumably to compensate the council for the officer time attributed to agreeing the arrangement (in respect of those who choose that option) and making the application for a Liability Order (on day of the hearing).

It is generally accepted by billing authorities that defences against the issue of a Liability Order at the court hearing which are considered to be valid are restricted to just a handful. However, there are six obvious additional defences that would be valid if no discretion is exercised prior to requesting the issue of a summons and expenditure incurred by the council once the summons has been issued are included in those costs. They would be that;

1. the billing authority has not (does not) comply with regulation 34(1) of the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992;

2. expenditure amounting to £60.00 was not incurred by the council in respect of instituting the complaint;

3. the costs have been inflated to subsidise customers who elect to query their accounts, make payment arrangements, etc.; and

4. the costs in respect of instituting the summons include expenditure which is incurred by the council after that action

I would appreciate the council reviewing my request and confirming that the response to my request is "No" to (Q1) and therefore "N/A" in respect of (Q2).

Yours sincerely,

Helen Barker

Freedom Of Information (NELC), North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Sir / Madam 

 

I am pleased to acknowledge your correspondence and wish to confirm that
an internal review of the handling of your information request
NELC/17004/2021 is to take place.

 

If it will take us longer than 20 working days to respond to you, we will
inform you of this and provide you with the expected date for receiving a
response.

 

Further information about how we will deal with your Freedom of
Information requests is available on our website at:
[1]https://www.nelincs.gov.uk/council-infor....

 

If you have any queries or require further assistance, please contact us.

 

Yours sincerely

 

North East Lincolnshire Council

 

 

 

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Freedom Of Information (NELC), North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Sir / Madam 

 

Further to your request an internal review has taken place into North East
Lincolnshire Council's handling of your information request reference
NELC/17004/2021.

 

I have reviewed the response provided to you and the handling of your
request in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act and find:

 

o That your request was responded to within the statutory time of 20
working days;
o That you were provided with the available information you asked for;
and
o That your response provided you with your rights of appeal. 

 

I am therefore satisfied that the Council has acted in accordance with its
statutory duties in the handling of your request.

 

I can confirm that the email received on the 8th April 2020 which
clarified request 1 was seen by the service and did not alter the original
response provided. I can also confirm that the list you provided in your
request was confirmed in the response as all those factors are taken into
account by the service prior to a summons being issued.

 

I trust that this internal review answers your queries in relation to your
request, and clarifies that your request has been handled in accordance
with statutory requirements. 

 

If you remain dissatisfied with the Council’s handling of your request, or
the decision of the internal review you can request an independent review
by contacting the Information Commissioner's Office at Wycliffe House,
Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

Yours sincerely

 

North East Lincolnshire Council

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dear Freedom Of Information (NELC),

Thank you for your review decision. The outcomes (Local Government Ombudsman) I referred to in an earlier email oppose the idea that all of the factors you state are taken into consideration are in fact accounted for. You may be able to clarify this if you confirm when it became the council's policy to consider these factors.

On another point, the assumptions I made regarding the council accepting a payment arrangement on the condition that it obtains the Liability Order to secure the debt (including costs) has been confirmed to be council policy. The council's Debt Management Strategy 2019 states that, "when recovery action has commenced payment arrangements will only be entered into when the debt is secured by a liability order or the debtor agrees to make payment by direct debit".

The council's most recently available breakdown of costs (see later) suggests that a £60.00 sum is incurred by the customer in respect of the summons whether their case proceeds to court or not.

These costs are incurred at a point after the customer has tendered payment. Therefore, the cost attributable to this activity could not lawfully be included in the costs claimed because expenditure may only be recharged that has been incurred by the authority up to the time of the payment or tender and clearly resources called upon by engaging staff in the matter would occur after payment was tendered. Expenditure incurred by the authority after that point falls on the wrong side of line to be referable to the summons and would only be lawfully recharged (if eligible) in respect of those who had not paid or tendered to the authority the aggregate of the outstanding amount and costs before the court hearing because only those customers may be proceeded against further and incur additional costs.

To be clear, it is not just the costs in these circumstances which are artificially inflated by either front loading or being charged where there is no legal basis at all which is a point of contention. The consequences are that for all those cases against whom the council proceeds in order to secure the debt once an amount has been agreed (the payment arrangement), the action is unlawful because regulation 34 of SI 1992/613 provides that the authority shall accept the amount and the application shall not be proceeded with in these circumstances.

Paragraph 34(5) of the regulations, are as follows (with emphasis):

“(5) If, after a summons has been issued in accordance with paragraph (2) but before the application is heard, there is paid or TENDERED to the authority an amount equal to the aggregate of—

(a) the sum specified in the summons as the sum outstanding or so much of it as remains outstanding (as the case may be); and

(b) a sum of an amount equal to the costs reasonably incurred by the authority in connection with the application UP TO THE TIME OF THE payment or TENDER,

the authority shall accept the amount and the application shall not be proceeded with.”

The authority could not defend its actions on the grounds that an arrangement does not constitute payment therefore it is entitled to obtain a liability order to secure the debt because the law does not say that the amount must be paid for the application not to be proceeded with, only that the amount tendered is accepted (the aggregate of the outstanding amount and costs). By agreeing a payment plan which encompasses the outstanding amount and costs (costs which are properly referable to the enforcement process) the authority has accepted the amount and so there is no legal basis to proceed to obtain a liability order from the Magistrates' court.

Notwithstanding the lack of provision to proceed once the aggregate of the outstanding amount and costs has been agreed by the council, even if it were permissible, these costs and any other incurred would have further criteria to meet for the court to be satisfied that they were reasonably incurred.

R (Nicolson) v Tottenham Magistrates [2015] EWHC 1252 (Admin) provides in the judgment some general guidance regarding Council Tax Liability Order court costs which addresses the approach taken by the council to apply all of its costs to the issue of the summons so that the whole £60.00 sum is incurred by the customer whether their case proceeds to court or not, and whether the types of expenses accounted for are eligible and/or have been claimed as a means of artificially inflating them.

Paragraph 35 and 46 of the Tottenham judgment give clues as to what should not be included in the costs and an approach that might be legitimate regarding averaging the costs.

“It is clear that there must be a sufficient link between the costs in question and the process of obtaining the liability order. It would obviously be impermissible (for example) to include in the costs claimed any element referable to the costs of executing the order after it was obtained, or to the overall administration of council tax in the area concerned.” (Paragraph 35)

"In principle, therefore, provided that the right types of costs and expenses are taken into account, and provided that due consideration is given to the dangers of double-counting, or of artificial inflation of costs, it may be a legitimate approach for a local authority to calculate and aggregate the relevant costs it has incurred in the previous year, and divide that up by the previous (or anticipated) number of summonses over twelve months so as to provide an average figure which could be levied across the board in "standard" cases.." (Paragraph 46)

However, the above does not go so far as to specify what the right types of costs and expenses are, plus the 1992 Council Tax Regulations (and associated guidance) also apply so any provisions in those capable of establishing what are "relevant costs" need taking into account. Crucially, the possibility that the approach of averaging the costs is conditional upon the right types of costs and expenses being taken into account and being mindful of the dangers of artificially inflating the costs.

Government guidance from 1993 and 2013 both provide within them that "the Court may wish to be satisfied that the amount claimed by way of costs in any individual case is no more than that reasonably incurred by the authority". They do so because the court is obliged to hear individually anyone wishing to raise a defence and regulation 35(1) of the Regulations provides that a single liability order may deal with one person and one amount.

The streamlining of the process, i.e. by hearing cases of all the defendants in a bulk application who decline the invitation to defend themselves would if the law was properly applied be met with a forfeiture of costs income because only expenditure which is common to every defendant may lawfully be included in a standard sum. For example, even if expenditure attributable to engaging with customers agreeing payment arrangements was not impermissible for the reasons discussed, they would not otherwise be deemed "relevant costs" to be included in the calculation because the expenditure is not common to every defendant but also because it would be impermissible to include in the costs any element referable to the overall administration of council tax in the area concerned (para 35, Tottenham judgment).

Looking now just at general expenditure incurred in dealing with customer's queries in the context that all the £60.00 costs are applied on issue of the summons so that the same sum is incurred by customers whether or not their cases proceed to court. For those customers whose cases do not proceed, their costs are artificially inflated because the amount they're charged requires to be a lesser sum than the £60.00 total claimed to have been incurred by the council to obtain the order which is referable to regulation 34(7). The costs claims in connection with issuing the summons, which are relevant for these customers, are provided in regulation 34(5). The Tottenham judgment reinforces this in para 46, warning that a standard sum would require the right types of expenses being taken into account with due consideration given to the dangers of double-counting, or of artificial inflation and in para 50 saying that "what matters is that the costs that it does decide to claim are properly referable to the enforcement process". So, even if the work was not referable to the overall administration of council tax (which arguably it is) and considered referable to 'the right types of costs and expenses', the expenditure attributable to dealing with those customer's queries who subsequently pay to the authority the aggregate of the outstanding amount and costs before the court hearing would have paid an element of front loaded costs, i.e. which were not properly referable to the enforcement process.

There is also the anomaly that the customers who to the greatest degree drive the level of activity are ironically avoiding incurring liability order costs (or that would be the case if the costs were split between the enforcement processes). These are generally those customers who have negotiated their instalments to be effectively re-instated by agreeing to switch their payment method to direct debit, whilst customers who settle their debt without causing additional work are left subsidising this expenditure when bizarrely none is incurred in connection with their summonses.

Expanding further on the concept of "reasonably incurred". If the costs are to be recharged lawfully to the customer it must have been reasonable for the council to have incurred them. Any expenditure recharged to the customer in respect of costs has not been reasonably incurred which is attributable to activity carried out by the council above what is necessary to secure the court order. Obtaining the order is merely a formality and it functions simply as the vehicle empowering the council to make use of a range of enforcement measures to pursue monies owed should it be necessary once it is in place, so with that in mind and that applications are made en masse, then the vast majority of costs typically claimed by local authorities are not necessary in a process which amounts to no more than seeking permission from the court.

Expenditure attributable to work carried out, which is clearly by its nature referable to the overall administration (in the area of council tax concerned) would not by virtue of it coinciding with when the complaint is in progress be sufficient to link it to the actual process of obtaining the liability order. This is separable from any that is permissible to be included in the costs claimed and would need omitting from the calculation because it would not be reasonable to expect those paying them to subsidise general administration or to be exploited as a means of funding revenues/recovery staff - and - because it is not common to every defendant.

BREAKDOWN OF COSTS

There are a couple of issues regarding the breakdown mentioned at the beginning of this email that require pointing out. Firstly a total sum of £1,867,122 forms the basis of the calculation (though it is not known how that figure has been arrived at). £715,835 (38%) of the total is determined to be the amount to which the council deems it is entitled for taking its customers to court to obtain a Liability Order. However, the entire amount is attributed to the issue of the summons, as opposed to being split between that cost and the Liability Order, which would be expected so there is not enough relevant information to be satisfied that the costs are properly referable to enforcement process. Presumably the £1.87 million is the total cost of running the council tax and enforcement departments (who knows). If so, with 38% (£0.716 million) of the total amount attributable to taking customers to court it is evident that the split has been applied disproportionately in order to subsidise significantly the funding of those departments. An annotation in the spreadsheet confirms that expenditure attributable to administering the council tax reduction scheme (CTR) is recharged (at least to some extent), which is a good indication that other non permissible general expenditure is included as well. Also the summons costs, by the sheer magnitude of the amount, must be attributable to the work carried out from when the summons is issued up until the court hearing (if not other activity as well). However, the Council Tax regulations (SI 1992/613) refer to this as a sum equal to the costs reasonably incurred by the authority in connection with the application up to the time of the payment (or tender). Though in practice, that amounts to the cost of issuing the summons because the council incurs no more expenditure once that has been done in respect of those who pay their outstanding liability before the hearing whether they do so straightaway or leave it until immediately before the court hearing.

For the court to properly consider the breakdown it would be necessary for it to contain sufficient information as to how the figure was arrived at, and what costs it represents. It would also need to contain enough information to satisfy the court that the costs were incurred in respect of issuing the summons and not for carrying out general council tax administration or include costs for obtaining the Liability Order. That would, for a start, require verifying where the £1.87 million starting figure comes from and what costs it represents and for it to be justified why 38% of that could be attributable to issuing the summons (itemising the activities).

The court also needs to be able to verify that the number of accounts with summonses issued are accurate and haven't been estimated on the low side to artificially inflate the costs. This information is normally available for all councils in the Revenue Collection Statistics, collected and published by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy (CIPFA), but relies on the local authority submitting the data in its returns. The last time North East Lincolnshire Council submitted this data relates to the 2015-16 CIPFA return and has for some reason omitted to do so in all subsequent years to date (as is the practice of many other councils).

Clearly the calculation does not contain sufficient information to satisfy the court that the costs are reasonably incurred (though suggests the opposite), but it is quite obvious that in the majority of cases the court simply rubber stamps the orders without questioning them. It is hardly credible that the Magistrates would be mindful of the regulations, guidance and case law relevant to costs which is what the majority of councils must rely on to succeed in getting council tax administration funded from the costs recharged to customers for the formality of summonsing them to court.

Yours sincerely,

Helen Barker

Dear Freedom Of Information (NELC),

Please note the advice here: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/unha...

"Internal reviews should be quick. If one takes longer than 20 working days then the authority should write and let you know, and it should never take longer than 40 working days"

Presumably something similar applies to requests for clarification of a review

Yours sincerely,

Helen Barker

Helen Barker left an annotation ()

For anyone interested or wondering where the breakdown of costs referred to in the above 6 June 2020 correspondence was obtained it was published on the Council's website. However, it appears to be no longer available though it can be found in the link here: 

Council-Tax-Summons-Cost-Calculation-2018-19.xls  
https://tinyurl.com/y3qzdd8n

Dear Freedom Of Information (NELC),

See 6 June 2020 email:

"You may be able to clarify this if you confirm when it became the council's policy to consider these factors"

Also, I'm led to believe that the court costs are no longer £60.00 incurred on the issue of the summons. Can you please verify?

Yours sincerely,

Helen Barker

Freedom Of Information (NELC), North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Sir / Madam

 

I am pleased to acknowledge your request for information, which has been
allocated the reference number NELC/20949/2122

Your request has been passed to the relevant department and you can expect
your response within the 20 working day limit. If it will take us longer
than 20 working days to respond to you, we will inform you of this and
provide you with the expected date for receiving a response.

 

Further information about how we will deal with your Freedom of
Information requests is available on our website at:

 

[1]https://www.nelincs.gov.uk/your-council/...

 

Please feel free to contact me if you require any further information or
assistance quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

 

North East Lincolnshire Council

 

 

 

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Freedom Of Information (NELC), North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Ms Barker

 

Thank you for your information request, reference number NELC/20949/2122,
which stated ‘I'm led to believe that the court costs are no longer £60.00
incurred on the issue of the summons. Can you please verify?’

 

I wish to confirm that North East Lincolnshire Council holds the following
information:

 

Details of the calculation of the current costs of £60 for 2020-21 are
published on our website
[1]https://www.nelincs.gov.uk/council-tax/c...

 

The calculation for the 2021-22 costs will be published on this page as
soon as it is available. The information you have requested is therefore
currently exempt from disclosure by virtue of section 22 of the Freedom of
Information Act (information intended for future publication).

 

If you believe that your request for information has not been handled in
accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, you have the right to
request an internal review by the Council. Please be clear about which
elements of the Council’s response or handling of the request you are
unhappy with, and would like the Council to address during the internal
review process.  If following this you are still dissatisfied you may
contact the Office of the Information Commissioner. If you wish to request
an internal review, please contact me and I will make the necessary
arrangements.

 

Yours sincerely

 

North East Lincolnshire Council

 

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We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Helen Barker please sign in and let everyone know.