Bailiffs to tackle council tax dodgers

BAILIFFS could be knocking on the doors of hundreds of householders in the next few weeks and taking away their prized possessions - unless they agree to pay their council tax.

BAILIFFS could be knocking on the doors of hundreds of householders in the next few weeks and taking away their prized possessions - unless they agree to pay their council tax.

North Norfolk District Council is having a crackdown on 400 council-tax and business-rate dodgers in an attempt to collect a total of £400,000 in unpaid bills.

The council is urging anyone with outstanding bills to contact the bailiff to arrange a way to pay back their debt before Monday. If not, they could be visited by a debt collector and have their possessions seized and sold at auction.

The council said the people being targeted had already been given at least four chances to pay their outstanding bills.

Peter Moore, cabinet member for resources, said: “It is everybody's duty to pay council tax. It is unfair on everybody else if you can pay, but choose not to.”

But he added there was support available to those people struggling to find the money.

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He said: “We have a help and advice team for people who are having difficulties, and council tax benefits are available to help people in real need.

“There are also many forms of discount, exemption or relief for council-tax and business-rate payers. So people should get in touch with the council before their debt becomes a real problem.”

The council said the details of 900 people had been given to bailiffs since April and most of them had now either paid or made arrangements to pay.

This is not the first time the district council has blitzed houses in north Norfolk. In January bailiffs were poised to visit more than 500 householders unless they paid up.

Last year the district collected 98.5pc of council tax and 99.4pc of business rates and hopes to improve on that this year.

Payments can be made by cash or cheque at the council cashier's office on Holt Road, Cromer, at post offices or by direct debit.

Anyone who does not know how to contact the bailiff should call the council on 01263 516230.