‘Robust’ enforcement warning to those owing cash to Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council | #childpredator | #onlinepredator | #sextrafficing

A warning has been issued that more ‘robust’ enforcement action will be taken against residents and businesses in Nuneaton and Bedworth who fail to pay their council charges. But with it comes a first-time approach to offer those who are struggling the chance to get help.

It is no secret that the council needs to find half a million pounds in savings ahead of the next budget-setting in February and Councillor Sam Croft, cabinet member for finances, said it means getting tough on those who owe the Town Hall cash. A new council debt enforcement policy has been drawn up containing measures to ensure people – whether residents or businesses – pay what they owe.

“We do need to get much more robust in our debt collection particularly in terms of rent collection and Council Tax,” explained Cllr Croft at a full council meeting. “We have identified at the cabinet in July that the non-payment of Council Tax was a potential risk on our collection fund and we need to get much more robust.

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“This policy does include a great deal of what you might call the compassionate and helpful side, which is that we are offering assistance for people who cannot pay, with repayment plans and referrals to third sector assistance. But ultimately people do need to pay their taxes, they do need to pay their charges and their rent because it is an issue of fundamental fairness. The bottom line is that other residents who do pay their taxes and charges and rent will lose out either in higher taxes and charges or in less services.”

Councillor Keith Kondakor asked to ensure that business rates are also enforced. “I do hope that we are being really good at chasing up our business debters for business rates,” he said. Meanwhile Cllr Rob Tromans said: “I am very pleased that there are provisions in there (the new policy) recognising individuals who may be vulnerable and giving them appropriate assistance and signposting,”

Cllr Martin Walsh said: “As with any business, as we are as such, cash flow is very critical and consequently bringing in the money that is outstanding from our residents and also from businesses, I would agree with Cllr Kondakor, is important. We need cash within our funds so that we can pay our employees to maintain the services that we are providing.”

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