Charity says council tax debt is £1.9m

South Holland residents owe �1.9million in council tax.
South Holland residents owe �1.9million in council tax.
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A leading national debt charity says South Holland residents owe £1.9million in unpaid council tax.

National Debtline, the free advice service run by the Money Advice Trust, is now urging people to seek help if they are struggling to keep up with their payments.

We encourage people struggling to pay to contact us at the earliest opportunity so we can try to help. We can also direct them to national free, independent and confidential support and advice organisations for further support.

Coun Peter Coupland

The £1.9million is a rolling total built up since 1993 and is up from the £1.7million-plus that was owed last year.

The sum is equal to an average of £49 for every home in the district.

National Debtline was contacted by 96 people from South Holland last year but the charity believes many more people are floundering.

Money Advice Trust chief executive Joanna Elson said: “We are seeing more and more people seek help with council tax arrears but the fact that South Holland residents owe £1.9million makes us concerned that many more people in the area are struggling alone. Free debt advice services such as National Debtline are here to help.”

South Holland District Council finance portfolio holder Coun Peter Coupland said today: “Last year 98 per cent of residents paid their council tax on time, a figure we are proud of and one I want to see get even higher in the years ahead.

“The figures quoted cover all years since 1993. While zero debt is always our target, just as in business getting 100 per cent of bills paid is a big task which requires and gets our constant attention.

“We encourage people struggling to pay to contact us at the earliest opportunity so we can try to help. We can also direct them to national free, independent and confidential support and advice organisations for further support.

“Of course debt enforcement action is always the last resort, but we do and will continue to take such action whenever it is necessary.”

• For help visit www.nationaldebtline.org or call 0808 808 4000