Disallow all councils from issuing summons against residents for non payment of council tax until at least one full month of non payment is recorded. It is beyond belief that Mole Valley Council in particular, issues a summons in the same month when the account is not in arrears but they feel that because it was not recorded as paid on the 1st of the month – it was considered "late" No reminder issued.
This is just a simple ploy to force people to pay by direct debit instead of (in my case) Bacs payment and an unscrupulous method of increasing revenue.
Freezing council tax next year will see many councils employing the same underhanded tactics to increase revenues because it costs not a snippet of the surcharge they levy to issue a summons. Payment received does not cancel out the costs (even when the payment has been received before the date of the summons) they are supposed to have incurred.
It is the poor and the struggling who suffer from this outrageous policy. It should be outlawed and councils forced to make allowances for the fact that people are often not paid when the council tax is due but have insufficient resource to build a backlog of funds to cover such intransigence.
Why is this idea important?
It is important, I believe, because councils are public servants, working on behalf and for the local residents and businesses and should not harshly penalise, for no established reason other than what appears to be "whim" their captive targets. It is bad business practise and shoddy public service and should be cleaned up once and for all with legislation that is fit to protect the resident/business and the council itself. Guidelines are not enough – legislation is required that is equally protective of both sides and not as at present – wholly on the side of the council.
If you want fairness in a bigger society then it shoud start at local level.