Residents jailed for not paying tax

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Four East Northamptonshire residents have been jailed for failing to pay their council tax and business rates.

Wellingborough Magistrates sentenced Trevor Cooper, previously of Quorn Road, Rushden, to serve 48 days in prison for non payment of council tax and business rates totalling £1,648 and Alasdair Jamieson, previously of Rectory Road, Rushden, to serve 61 days in prison for non payment of council tax totalling £1,799.

Corby Magistrates sentenced Angela Tandy, of Springfield Road, Oundle, to 37 days in prison for non payment of council tax totalling £2,773.

Carolyn Collins, of Park Close, Kings Cliffe, was also given a prison sentence after magistrates heard how she had been on suspended sentences with an order to pay council tax but had failed to make any payment. Mrs Collins was given the opportunity to explain to the court why she had not paid but she failed to turn up at court. The justices heard the case and had no hesitation in imposing the previously suspended 45 day sentence.

The council said the cases were all brought before the court after it had made numerous attempts to resolve the issue of outstanding payments.

East Northamptonshire Council leader Cllr Steven North said: “It’s always regrettable that imprisonment becomes necessary. However, we have an obligation to those who do pay their council tax and business rates to make sure those who don’t are dealt with accordingly. We have an equal obligation to help tax payers who are having difficulties paying their council tax and we would urge these people to get in touch with us as soon as possible so we can work together on a solution.”

If you are in arrears with your council tax or business rates and want to avoid prison, drop in to one of our help and advice days held at our Rushden and Thrapston offices.

The sessions are held from 2pm to 4.30pm on the first Friday of every month at Rushden Customer Service Centre in Newton Road and from 2pm to 4.30pm on the third Friday of every month at Thrapston Customer Service Centre in Cedar Drive.

For more information visit www.east-northamptonshire.gov.uk/counciltax or call 01832 742118.