Tax dodgers need to pay

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WE all know times are tough but they are tough for most people, so why should some people pay their council tax and others get away with it scot-free?

That was the question posed by this newspaper at the start of this year when we revealed that over the past 12 years more than £25m of council tax had gone uncollected.

It seems now that the council is also having to tighten its belt so has decided to get tough with the tax evaders.

Almost 9,000 people have been issued with summonses demanding payment or risk court action this month.

And guess what? That tough action has resulted in 1,053 people already starting to repay their arrears, with £780,000 collected.

Over the past three years £16.5m went uncollected - which represents more than half of what the council is cutting from its budget this financial year.

Sheffield Council has one of the highest collection rates in the country at 98 per cent.

But it is unfair that law-abiding people are paying the price for those who avoid paying. And the action the council is now taking it entirely justified.

Right idea, wrong place to try it

IS anybody surprised that a Sheffield school is complaining about a fast food vendor’s plan to set up stall nearby?

Mohammad Abdulkader is. He can’t understand why his application to sell hot and cold food from a van near Fir Vale School has caused dismay.

Perhaps it’s the advertising on the back of his van, offering burgers and kebabs.

That would be why staff and governors have voiced fears the van would lead to young people tucking into unhealthy grub. The local medical centre has also written to Sheffield Council to voice opposition.

We don’t criticise Mr Abdulkar for trying to set up a business. But his choice of location is a mistake. Search around and try again.

Friends indeed

EVERYBODY should have friends like the two boys featured on today’s page three.

Oliver Rains and Connor Elliott are inseparable and have helped each other in many ways. Oliver has spinal muscular atrophy and recently had a spell in hospital, but he knew Connor would visit. Connor is happy to help out with Oliver’s care and the friendship is having a good effect on his ADHD. It’s a story to warm your heart. Two boys thriving in adversity thanks to their friendship.

Good luck to them and long may their friendship continue.