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LGO report into Bradford Council (Council Tax Summons Costs)

Paul Nevison made this Freedom of Information request to The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

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Dear Local Government Ombudsmen,

The local government ombudsman report (16 019 355) into Bradford Council (paragraph 5 of the report) states that the court costs in relation to a Council Tax summons are incurred as soon as the Council issues the summons.

Alexander Nissen QC (Sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge) has made judgment on this in a case involving East Northamptonshire District Council, Ref: [2016] EWHC 470 (Admin).

"I accept that the order for costs did not fall to be made until after the point in time when the basis for the liability order had itself been established but that is no reason for not telling the recipient in advance what minimum claim for costs would be pursued by the Respondent if such a liability order were subsequently to be made."

What the above means (in the Judge's opinion) is that the court costs (summons costs) are not incurred as soon as the Council issues the summons. The summons document can only advise the recipient of the amount that will be claimed in respect of issuing the summons if and when the case is brought to court.

I would like the guidance provided to investigating officers that justified the statement i.e that the summons costs are incurred as soon as the Council issues the summons.

Yours faithfully,

Paul Nevison

Foi Officer, The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

This is to acknowledge receipt of your email. If you are making a request for information, you should get an acknowledgement from us within the next 2-3 days with a reference number and a date by which we will respond to your request. Please note, however, that this address is only for use in relation to requests for information made under the Freedom of Information Act and subject access requests made under the Data Protection Act. If your email is in relation to a new complaint please follow this link to a complaint form<http://www.lgo.org.uk/forms/ShowForm.asp...> or call 0300 061 0614 to speak to one of our Advisers, as the FOI Officer cannot deal with your complaint.

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Angela Thackray, The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

Dear Mr Nevison

This is to acknowledge receipt of your request for information sent to the FOI Officer. We will aim to respond within the 20 working day target of 29 August 2017 or, if unable to meet this target, we will write to you again explaining why.

A Thackray I Team Coordinator

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Dear Angela Thackray,

Thank you for your prompt reply.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Nevison

Foi Officer, The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Nevison

I attach a letter in response to your request below.

Yours sincerely

Hilary Pook
Information & Records Manager | DL: 0330 403 4734 |
Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman's office |
www.lgo.org.uk |

Dear Foi Officer,

It appears from your response that there is no guidance for an investigating officer to justify stating that the summons costs are incurred as soon as the council issues the summons.

I would be interested, if as a result of my FOI request (and judgment "[2016] EWHC 470 (Admin)") whether there will be a revision of the guidance.

Millions of Council Taxpayers will have been adversely affected by a number of public authorities having no regard for the law in this respect.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Nevison

Foi Officer, The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

1 Attachment

This is to acknowledge receipt of your email. If you are making a request for information, you should get an acknowledgement from us within the next 2-3 days with a reference number and a date by which we will respond to your request. Please note, however, that this address is only for use in relation to requests for information made under the Freedom of Information Act and subject access requests made under the Data Protection Act. If your email is in relation to a new complaint please follow this link to a complaint form<http://www.lgo.org.uk/forms/ShowForm.asp...> or call 0300 061 0614 to speak to one of our Advisers, as the FOI Officer cannot deal with your complaint.

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NOTICE - This message contains information intended only for the use of the addressee named above. If you have received this message in error please advise us at once and do not make any use of the information.

Foi Officer, The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

Dear Mr Nevison

The guidance has not been amended.

Yours sincerely

Hilary Pook
Information & Records Manager | DL: 0330 403 4734 |
Local Government Ombudsman's office |
www.lgo.org.uk |

Dear Foi Officer,

It wasn't whether the guidance had been amended that I enquired, rather it was whether it will be revised.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Nevison

Foi Officer, The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

1 Attachment

This is to acknowledge receipt of your email. If you are making a request for information, you should get an acknowledgement from us within the next 2-3 days with a reference number and a date by which we will respond to your request. Please note, however, that this address is only for use in relation to requests for information made under the Freedom of Information Act and subject access requests made under the Data Protection Act. If your email is in relation to a new complaint please follow this link to a complaint form<http://www.lgo.org.uk/forms/ShowForm.asp...> or call 0300 061 0614 to speak to one of our Advisers, as the FOI Officer cannot deal with your complaint.

[cid:image001.jpg@01D3111E.3F7B69A0]

NOTICE - This message contains information intended only for the use of the addressee named above. If you have received this message in error please advise us at once and do not make any use of the information.

Foi Officer, The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

Dear requester

No, there are no plans to revise the guidance.

Yours faithfully

Hilary Pook
Information & Records Manager | DL: 0330 403 4734 |
Local Government Ombudsman's office |
www.lgo.org.uk |

Paul Nevison left an annotation ()

A link to the Ombudsman's decision (16 019 355) is below:

https://www.lgo.org.uk/decisions/benefit...

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