Tower Hamlets resident threatened with court action over 79p unpaid council tax

The request was successful.

Errol Tideswell

Dear Tower Hamlets Borough Council,

Re; article published 6 July 2018 in the Docklands & East London Advertiser

http://www.eastlondonadvertiser.co.uk/ne...

"Tower Hamlets resident threatened with court action over 79p unpaid council tax"

Please provide whatever information is held by the council to clarify the following statements contained in the article in respect of the £90 which the taxpayer in general is going to have to pay the court and how the administrative error occurred (what is the administrative process).

Statement 1

'Cllr Golds questioned why someone would not have picked up on the tiny amount and questioned it before the summons was issued.

He added: “There was 79p and £90 in court costs. The council are now going to have to pay the court costs. '

Statement 2

'A council spokeswoman said: “As this was a complete administrative error, an apology and cancellation of the summons was actioned right away."

Yours faithfully,

Errol Tideswell

London Borough of Tower Hamlets, Tower Hamlets Borough Council

Information request
Our reference: 12836665

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

 
Dear Mr Tideswell,
 
Freedom of Information Act 2000
 
Thank you for your request for information that was received on 10 July
2018  requesting:

Re; article published 6 July 2018 in the Docklands & East London
Advertiser
http://www.eastlondonadvertiser.co.uk/ne...
"Tower Hamlets resident threatened with court action over 79p unpaid
council tax"
Please provide whatever information is held by the council to clarify the
following statements contained in the article in respect of the £90 which
the taxpayer in general is going to have to pay the court and how the
administrative error occurred (what is the administrative process).
Statement 1
'Cllr Golds questioned why someone would not have picked up on the tiny
amount and questioned it before the summons was issued.
He added: 'There was 79p and £90 in court costs. The council are now going
to have to pay the court costs. '
Statement 2
'A council spokeswoman said: 'As this was a complete administrative error,
an apology and cancellation of the summons was actioned right away."
 
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Yours sincerely
 
 
INFORMATION GOVERNANCE
Complaints and Information
020 7364 4736
[Tower Hamlets Borough Council request email]
 
NOTE: Please do not edit the subject line when replying to this email.

London Borough of Tower Hamlets, Tower Hamlets Borough Council

1 Attachment

Information request
Our reference: 12836665

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

 
Dear Mr Tideswell,
Your request for information has been considered under the requirements of
the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
I can confirm that the information requested is held by Tower Hamlets
Council and is attached to this email. 

The information has also been put on the [1]Council's Disclosure Log,
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icw[Tower Hamlets Borough Council request email] 
 
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Telephone: 01625 545 700
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Yours sincerely
 
 
Shipa Begum
Complaints and Information Admin Officer
Complaints and Information
020 7364 4736
[email address]
‏ 
 

References

Visible links
1. https://towerhamletsportal.icasework.com...

Wisdom left an annotation ()

Clearly the automated system that issues hundreds or even thousands of summonses for each Court listing is susceptible to human error. So why do Magistrates refuse to consider "reasons" when a person shows they are not liable?

Errol Tideswell left an annotation ()

Tower Hamlets answer:

"This was caused by human error in that the minimum arrears figure was left blank when running the programme for the issuing of the summonses. It is not the Council's policy to pursue non-payment of small balances such as this."

Perhaps it should also be queried how £90 costs can be justified when a system run by a computer program is entirely relied upon to issue summonses (except perhaps for a human to set a couple of parameters). There are no humans checking it obviously, perhaps because that would defeat the object of obtaining and employing the Council Tax processing system to do the work.