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Council tax report for Surrey and Hampshire

3 minute read
Council tax report for Surrey and Hampshire

Published at 11:44am 31st July 2018. (Updated at 12:00pm 31st July 2018)

If everyone pays, everyone pays less – that’s the message from East Hampshire District Council after announcing it is in the top 10 per cent nationally for Council Tax collection.

EHDC collected 98.8 per cent of Council Tax in 2017/2018, the second highest figure in Hampshire and 30th out of 300 councils nationwide.

Cllr Nick Drew, Portfolio Holder for Governance and Organisational Development, said: “A high collection rate helps keep the cost of Council Tax down for all residents.

“A collection rate of 98.8 per cent is incredible and that is a testament to the efficiency and diligence of the Council Tax team at EHDC and to East Hampshire residents who know that paying tax helps everyone.

“If everyone pays, then everyone pays less.”

EHDC collects Council Tax not just for itself but also on behalf of Hampshire County Council, Hampshire Constabulary, the Fire and Rescue Service and local parish and town councils.

It will also continue to pursue the unpaid 1.2 per cent.

As well as keeping collection rates high money can also be saved by residents using particular payment methods such as paying by Direct Debit or by having Council Tax bills emailed rather than posted.

Meanwhile, across Surrey, more than £8 million went unpaid in council tax and business rates last year.

This was just over half a million less than the previous year’s accounts which recorded a figure of £8,748,000 and would be enough to pay for 271 fully-trained firefighters in Surrey.

For a further comparison, the total budget for Surrey’s CAMHS (child and adolescent mental health services) in 2017/18 was £8.318m.

The governance of children’s services was identified as an area of focus.

An audit report carried out by Grant Thornton concluded that because of the most recent inadequate Ofsted report they had to conclude “that the processes and procedures” in place in relation to children’s services are “not conducive to providing value for money for residents”.

 

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