I have just helped a Sheffield tenant who became liable to pay council tax for the first time in April. They received a court summons for non payment in early June.
Council tenants on benefits are having to cope with 3.9% rent rises, paying 23% of their council tax bill for the first time and paying the bedroom tax if they have 2 bedrooms or more. All this while many benefits are being cut.
In this case a visit to Howden House resulted in a completed application for financial help and the cancelling of the summons. But it should never have been issued as people struggle to cope with household budgeting issues they cannot solve. Getting the courts involved so quickly will swallow up revenue in admin costs.
What is needed is a common sense, caring and helpful approach from the council that will benefit everyone involved.
Sheffield Green Party