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If you are experiencing financial difficulty please contact us as soon as possible. Don't wait until it's too late! 

To avoid receiving a reminder, or a summons, you must pay by the instalment due dates which are shown on your demand notice. 

If you're having difficulty paying your council tax you should always contact us as soon as possible. We are always happy to help and advise.

Remember you can always opt to pay your council tax over 12 monthly instalments to help to spread the cost.

Also you can change the date your payment is due by choosing to pay by Direct Debit. We can collect not only on the 1st of the month but also on the 8th, 14th or 21st of the month. Direct Debit payments can be taken over 10 or 12 months. Find out more. 

What happens if I don't pay?

A summons will be sent to you asking you to *appear before the magistrates court if:

  1. You have been sent a first reminder, and you have not made full payment on or before the date stated on the reminder, or
  2. You have been sent a final notice and the requested amount has not been paid on time

If a summons is sent, you will have to pay an additional £51.50 in court costs. If your payment in full (including £51.50) is received and cleared by the council before the date of the court hearing, we will withdraw our application.

*If you wish to attend the court hearing because you are disputing liability you MUST arrange an appointment in advance, even though the summons sets a date to attend.  

To avoid attending court

If you do not have a valid defence,  you can: 

  • Pay in full online at or call 01530 454730
  • Phone 01530 454545 to discuss a repayment agreement of the outstanding balance
  • If you have a dispute against liability , you can also call us on 01530 454545 to resolve.

Court Attendance

If you dispute the liability, you can do so for two reasons:

  1. You paid your Council Tax in full before the issue of the summons
  2. You have been billed incorrectly e.g. you are not the liable person.  (This does not include the fact that you are querying entitlement to Council Tax Support)

If you wish to attend the hearing you MUST call us on 01455 265450 (option 1) to book an appointment in advance. If you have an appointment, we will send confirmation of the appointment which must be shown when attending court. If you do not have an appointment or the confirmation available you will not be able to attend.

If we can, we will try to resolve the matter with you ahead of the hearing :

  • We may agree to adjourn the hearing while we look at your case
  • If we can’t help, we will  arrange for a specific time for the magistrates to hear your defence

Please be aware that if payment is not received in full before the court date we will ask the magistrates to grant a liability order, which will cost you an additional £18.00. Once the Liability Order is granted by the court, it allows the council to pursue your debt through various different means such as:

  • An attachment of earnings order may be sent to your employer to pay through your wages
  • An attachment of benefits order may be sent to the Department of Work & Pensions if you claim benefits so we can take some of your entitlement.
  • A referral to Marstons or Jacobs (our enforcement agents) for distraint (the seizure of someone's goods in order to obtain payment of money)
  • Committal to prison
  • Petition to the court for a declaration of bankruptcy
  • Application for a charging order. The Order will be secured against the same property on which the liability order has already been obtained for the outstanding debt.

Last updated: Tue 27 February, 2024 @ 16:43