A go-ahead partnership between Erewash Borough Council and Citizens Advice has been further strengthened to help people who are struggling to pay their council tax.
The council and representatives from Citizens Advice Derbyshire Districts have signed up to a new Citizens Advice Council Tax Protocol – a document, developed by the advice charity, which confirms the commitment of everyone involved to helping prevent families from getting into debt.
Councillor Wayne Major, Erewash Borough Council’s Deputy Leader and Lead Member for Resources, says:
“This is a very positive move and means we will look to work with people as soon as they start falling behind on their council tax and support them to address the issue. It is our commitment to putting realistic repayment plans in place to help residents and to ensure that outstanding debts are more likely to be repaid.”
Alongside this, Citizens Advice continues to offer its free and confidential advice and guidance to support residents through their difficulties.
Citizens Advice Derbyshire Districts’ Chief Officer Chloe Doxey has applauded the new protocol agreement:
“We welcome Erewash Borough Council’s commitment to improving how council tax is collected from people who are struggling to keep up with their bills. This protocol builds on our good partnership with the council. We have worked with councillors and officers to develop these council tax principles – helping families who are struggling to make ends meet and enabling the council to recoup more of the tax it is owed.”
Project and Services Manager Louise Lee also welcomed the new guidance, saying it is proactive and “will help thousands of residents across the borough at risk of crisis point, such as homelessness or unmanageable debt, and will prevent them facing more serious problems such as court action.”
Citizens Advice offers support at its Ilkeston office at Castledine House, Heanor Road and its Adviceline on 0300 456 8390 plus community outreach sessions. More details can be found on the Citizens Advice website.