ALMOST two million pounds of unpaid council tax is owed by Rugby residents – prompting Rugby Borough Council to offer help to those struggling to pay.
New government data has revealed those living in Rugby owe £1.8million in unpaid Council Tax – an average of £40 per household.
The collected tax goes directly to county-wide services including the police, community support projects and more local councils.
Coun Helen Taylor, responsible for resources and corporate governance, urged those who are finding it difficult to pay to seek advice from council services or debt support charities.
She said: “We keep around 13 per cent of the council tax that we collect, and the rest goes to the police, parish councils and Warwickshire County Council for expensive services such as highways and social care.
“As you’d expect our collection rate varies throughout the year but is generally very good, and when someone doesn’t pay their tax we never stop pursuing the debt.
“Anyone who is struggling to pay their council tax should contact us as soon as possible so that we can check they’re getting all of the help and support that they’re entitled to.”
The National Debtline, a free advice service run by the Money Advice Trust, viewed the figures as a sign that too few residents are getting the right advice.
A total of 121 calls for help were made from the Rugby area to National Debtline last year, with residents receiving free advice on how to resolve their financial difficulties. After seeking advice from the charity, the majority of people say they feel more in control of their finances and know how to take steps to deal with their situation.
Joanna Elson OBE, chief executive of the Money Advice Trust said: “I would urge anyone in Rugby who is struggling to make their Council Tax payments to contact National Debtline as soon as possible. Our expert advisers are on hand to work through your situation and help you get back on track with your finances.”
Their free service is accessible online at www.nationaldebtline.org or by calling 0808 808 4000.