Venue: Havering Town Hall, Main Road, Romford
Contact: Richard Cursons 01708 432430 Email: richard.cursons@oneSource.co.uk
Note: SPECIAL MEETING
The report before Members detailed the interim findings of the Debt Recovery Topic Group.
The topic group representative present advised that a sum of £19.8 million of Council Tax arrears remained uncollected.
During scrutiny of the collection process topic group members had felt that once the pre-set target for collection had been met then the pressure slowed down on further collection and this had led to the accumulation of the arrears.
Members were advised that the correspondence sent to debtors was often lengthy and only suggested that legal action might be taken when chasing the debt rather than promising to take legal action against non-payers.
At the current time there were over 8.300 debtors who owed outstanding Council Tax.
The topic group report recommended the creation of a task force to specifically target debtors and chase outstanding debts.
During a brief debate Members discussed the issue of encouraging more residents to sign up to direct debit payments, poor IT systems throughout the authority and how the Council would ensure that vulnerable residents were treated fairly.
Members also agreed that the published collection rate for Council Tax should be 100% and not a lower target.
The Board noted the report and agreed to refer the recommendation set out in section 4 of the report of the topic group to Cabinet.
To consider any other item in respect of which the Chairman is of the opinion, by reason of special circumstances which will be specified in the minutes, that the item should be considered at the meeting as a matter of urgency
Following concerns raised by another Councillor it was agreed that the Board would set up a topic group or review of the Council’s procurement of contracts in the new municipal year.