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  1. If this post serves no other purpose, it may at least include some useful links It seems Local Authorities, for their own advantage, are selectively implementing the law under the 1992 Council Tax regulations. Council's recovery policies reveal how they're circumventing regulations and using the threat of a Liability Order as bargaining power to negotiate take-up of Direct Debit. After recovery action has commenced, it seems council tax payers who agree terms laid down by their respective councils are having recovery action reversed. Concessions differ from one authority to another but include: i) Summons and costs being withdrawn, ii) Reinstatement of instalments, and, iii) The Authority agreeing NOT to apply for a liability order Generally, the condition is that the account holder switches to Direct Debit – the council's preferred payment method. West Lindsey District Council, for example state: The London Borough of Hillingdon offer this: Rutland County Council this: Wandsworth Borough Council Eastbourne Borough Council..... North East Lincolnshire, Ashford Borough, South Kesteven and Rother District Council, all offer some variation on a theme of this... There is of course an ulterior motive for this generosity in that the authorities secure more Direct Debit payers through their deals. However, it must be questioned whether or not it is lawful. The penalties, or court costs charged to the individual are based (or should be) on how many orders are applied for by the council. There are therefore far greater implications for the alleged debtor than simply whether or not a concession is given for the take-up of Direct Debit. Because of these concessions, the total costs are being split between fewer account payers, thus (theoretically) larger penalties are being charged to householders as a direct consequence of councils campaigning for a greater take-up of Direct Debit. As well as the added imposed burden this has on the rate payer, unless a specific clause in the legislation provides for the council to apply regulations discretionally, then the authority will almost certainly be breaching the Council Tax regulations. All councils have to adhere to set procedures laid down in statute whilst obtaining liability orders for council tax arrears through the court. The Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations state under regulation 34 exactly what steps the authority must take. These regulations are devised so meticulously that invariably when a householder appeals an unfavourable action, councils simply state their hands are tied and play their "procedures are laid down in statute” card. Interestingly though, if the authority is able to benefit by bending the rules (securing additional Direct Debit payers in this instance), it seems they view the law as optional. So to summarise, these penalties or court costs are being made higher because fewer householders are paying them as a direct consequence of our council's campaign for greater take-up of Direct Debit (the council's preferred payment method). And, unless a specific clause in the legislation provides for the council to apply regulations discretionally then the authority will almost certainly be breaking the law.
  2. I'm supposed to be abled to buy stamps now for a few weeks at reduced rate due to being on IR ESA but I haven't received a letter. Is there any way online/email I can apply for this letter?
  3. Hello all Just looking into purchasing a student concession season ticket for my daughter, who is about to start 6th form college. Went on to the Arriva bus site and followed the links to buy the tickets on line. As my OH uses the bus a lot, she felt that the annual price of £590 was wrong. After double checking the links and clicking on 'Buy Student Saver Tickets Online' it again took us to the page where you select Adult or Child tickets only and the price was £590 for the year for Shrewsbury Out of curiosity selected a none Shrewsbury area and there was a tab for 'Student' tickets at £340 for the year. Have fired off a question to them via there Q&A page but am a little annoyed that I had searched 'Student concessions' got directed to an FAQ about student concessions and clicked a link that says 'Buy Student Saver Tickets Online', then find that the offering was for a standard adult / child tickets only. If it had said "Sorry no concession tickets in this are" I wouldn't have minded. but in my view Arriva is mis-representing their tickets. Would be grateful for your thoughts The link is: www-dot-arrivabus-dot-co-dot-uk/student-saver-tickets/
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