Gillian let off paying 2 council tax bills

Basildon Recorder: Gillian let off paying 2 council tax bills Gillian let off paying 2 council tax bills

A DISABLED woman who was told she would have to pay two council tax bills has been given a landmark reprieve after the Echo intervened.

Gillian Avart, 59, moved into temporary accommodation in Brook Drive, Wickford, after her ground floor maisonette on Basildon’s Craylands estate was destroyed in an arson attack.

She was shocked when she received a letter from Basildon Council asking her to stump up £516 towards the council tax bill for the Craylands property – despite it being uninhabitable.

She has had to pay council tax of £1,033 on the Wickford home as well as rent and bills since she moved in last July.

Mrs Avert, who is partiallysighted and has the neurological condition multiple sclerosis, lives off her pension after retiring early from her job at Essex County Council.

She said: “I didn’t ask for some lunatic to set fire to the flat upstairs and I didn’t ask to be moved. I feel like I’m being penalised for something not my fault.

“There are other families who had to move because of the fire, but I don’t think they’re affected because they get help with benefits.

“The Wickford property is actually better because I’m right near shops and the bus stop, which is important because of my health problems.

But, the council won’t move me permanently while work is still going on.

“It is classing me as a tenant of both properties, but the Craylands one is uninhabitable.”

The property is surrounded by a blue hoarding as council workers repair the block affected by the blaze.

New guidelines, which were introduced last week, have seen the council tax discount for unoccupied properties go from 100 per cent to 50 per cent.

After being contacted by the Echo, Basildon Council agreed to use its discretion to scrap the second council tax bill.

Shanna Chandiwana, revenues, benefits and business support manager at Basildon Council, said: “Due to the changes in discount for uninhabitable properties the customer was made liable to comply with the new policy.

“However, after reviewing this case, the council has removed her charge until the property is habitable.

“There have been many examples of this discretion being used due to the recent flood victims across the UK. This discretion has not been used by Basildon Council previously as under the old regulations a full exemption would have been awarded."

Comments (15)

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10:19am Fri 11 Apr 14

Howard Cháse says...

Well done Echo.
Well done Echo. Howard Cháse
  • Score: 11

11:24am Fri 11 Apr 14

ThisYear says...

Now take on the disgusting debacle of the bedroom tax...
Now take on the disgusting debacle of the bedroom tax... ThisYear
  • Score: -10

11:40am Fri 11 Apr 14

bazza 1 says...

Just shows what a bunch of idiots we have, both in local council, and in Parliament. If your home is effectively destroyed by a third party, you should not have to pay council tax for it. The regulations regarding empty properties paying council tax, was to stop people buying up houses, and letting them sit there till the market improves, and making a killing on the resale. We are governed by fools. Vote them all out at the next opportunity.
Just shows what a bunch of idiots we have, both in local council, and in Parliament. If your home is effectively destroyed by a third party, you should not have to pay council tax for it. The regulations regarding empty properties paying council tax, was to stop people buying up houses, and letting them sit there till the market improves, and making a killing on the resale. We are governed by fools. Vote them all out at the next opportunity. bazza 1
  • Score: 6

11:58am Fri 11 Apr 14

carnmountyouknowitmakessense says...

Don't pay any of them, contact the Sun newspaper, and dirty the council through the media...
Don't pay any of them, contact the Sun newspaper, and dirty the council through the media... carnmountyouknowitmakessense
  • Score: 5

12:14pm Fri 11 Apr 14

Abington86 says...

A note to the Revenues, Benefits and Business Support Manager at Basildon council - we are not customers, we are Council Tax payers.
If we were customers we could take our custom elsewhere and not put up with the second rate standards that Basildon Council inflict on its residents.
A note to the Revenues, Benefits and Business Support Manager at Basildon council - we are not customers, we are Council Tax payers. If we were customers we could take our custom elsewhere and not put up with the second rate standards that Basildon Council inflict on its residents. Abington86
  • Score: 15

2:28pm Fri 11 Apr 14

stopmoaning1 says...

A good result, but why the need to mention the lady's disability.
A good result, but why the need to mention the lady's disability. stopmoaning1
  • Score: 4

3:15pm Fri 11 Apr 14

carnmountyouknowitmakessense says...

stopmoaning1 wrote:
A good result, but why the need to mention the lady's disability.
Pos discrimination
[quote][p][bold]stopmoaning1[/bold] wrote: A good result, but why the need to mention the lady's disability.[/p][/quote]Pos discrimination carnmountyouknowitmakessense
  • Score: 3

3:16pm Fri 11 Apr 14

ThisYear says...

bazza 1 wrote:
Just shows what a bunch of idiots we have, both in local council, and in Parliament. If your home is effectively destroyed by a third party, you should not have to pay council tax for it. The regulations regarding empty properties paying council tax, was to stop people buying up houses, and letting them sit there till the market improves, and making a killing on the resale. We are governed by fools. Vote them all out at the next opportunity.
Who are the bigger fools?

Those who govern or those who vote for them to govern?
[quote][p][bold]bazza 1[/bold] wrote: Just shows what a bunch of idiots we have, both in local council, and in Parliament. If your home is effectively destroyed by a third party, you should not have to pay council tax for it. The regulations regarding empty properties paying council tax, was to stop people buying up houses, and letting them sit there till the market improves, and making a killing on the resale. We are governed by fools. Vote them all out at the next opportunity.[/p][/quote]Who are the bigger fools? Those who govern or those who vote for them to govern? ThisYear
  • Score: -3

5:09pm Fri 11 Apr 14

debbie81 says...

funny they must be doing it to everyone because i have just had the same done to me i got put in a temp place after the fire on bockingham green which i still cant get back into took them a month to house me and my husband and kids now there saying i have to pay council tax on both
funny they must be doing it to everyone because i have just had the same done to me i got put in a temp place after the fire on bockingham green which i still cant get back into took them a month to house me and my husband and kids now there saying i have to pay council tax on both debbie81
  • Score: 3

5:18pm Fri 11 Apr 14

John Bull 40 says...

Someone made a mistake, it could have been sorted by Gillian herself or her
local councillor, why go to the local rag?
Someone made a mistake, it could have been sorted by Gillian herself or her local councillor, why go to the local rag? John Bull 40
  • Score: -2

6:56pm Fri 11 Apr 14

Davey B says...

Abington86 wrote:
A note to the Revenues, Benefits and Business Support Manager at Basildon council - we are not customers, we are Council Tax payers.
If we were customers we could take our custom elsewhere and not put up with the second rate standards that Basildon Council inflict on its residents.
Move out of the Borough or shut up and live with it.
[quote][p][bold]Abington86[/bold] wrote: A note to the Revenues, Benefits and Business Support Manager at Basildon council - we are not customers, we are Council Tax payers. If we were customers we could take our custom elsewhere and not put up with the second rate standards that Basildon Council inflict on its residents.[/p][/quote]Move out of the Borough or shut up and live with it. Davey B
  • Score: -7

7:00pm Fri 11 Apr 14

Abington86 says...

Davey B wrote:
Abington86 wrote: A note to the Revenues, Benefits and Business Support Manager at Basildon council - we are not customers, we are Council Tax payers. If we were customers we could take our custom elsewhere and not put up with the second rate standards that Basildon Council inflict on its residents.
Move out of the Borough or shut up and live with it.
work for the council do you?
[quote][p][bold]Davey B[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Abington86[/bold] wrote: A note to the Revenues, Benefits and Business Support Manager at Basildon council - we are not customers, we are Council Tax payers. If we were customers we could take our custom elsewhere and not put up with the second rate standards that Basildon Council inflict on its residents.[/p][/quote]Move out of the Borough or shut up and live with it.[/p][/quote]work for the council do you? Abington86
  • Score: 2

8:13pm Fri 11 Apr 14

Davey B says...

Abington86 wrote:
Davey B wrote:
Abington86 wrote: A note to the Revenues, Benefits and Business Support Manager at Basildon council - we are not customers, we are Council Tax payers. If we were customers we could take our custom elsewhere and not put up with the second rate standards that Basildon Council inflict on its residents.
Move out of the Borough or shut up and live with it.
work for the council do you?
Not Basildon, a different Council.

Just quit your whinging and man up a bit. Pathetic.
[quote][p][bold]Abington86[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Davey B[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Abington86[/bold] wrote: A note to the Revenues, Benefits and Business Support Manager at Basildon council - we are not customers, we are Council Tax payers. If we were customers we could take our custom elsewhere and not put up with the second rate standards that Basildon Council inflict on its residents.[/p][/quote]Move out of the Borough or shut up and live with it.[/p][/quote]work for the council do you?[/p][/quote]Not Basildon, a different Council. Just quit your whinging and man up a bit. Pathetic. Davey B
  • Score: -3

9:10am Sat 12 Apr 14

bazza 1 says...

Abington86 wrote:
A note to the Revenues, Benefits and Business Support Manager at Basildon council - we are not customers, we are Council Tax payers.
If we were customers we could take our custom elsewhere and not put up with the second rate standards that Basildon Council inflict on its residents.
Oh, well said . Could not have put it better.
[quote][p][bold]Abington86[/bold] wrote: A note to the Revenues, Benefits and Business Support Manager at Basildon council - we are not customers, we are Council Tax payers. If we were customers we could take our custom elsewhere and not put up with the second rate standards that Basildon Council inflict on its residents.[/p][/quote]Oh, well said . Could not have put it better. bazza 1
  • Score: 3

1:26pm Sat 12 Apr 14

Abington86 says...

Davey B wrote:
Abington86 wrote:
Davey B wrote:
Abington86 wrote: A note to the Revenues, Benefits and Business Support Manager at Basildon council - we are not customers, we are Council Tax payers. If we were customers we could take our custom elsewhere and not put up with the second rate standards that Basildon Council inflict on its residents.
Move out of the Borough or shut up and live with it.
work for the council do you?
Not Basildon, a different Council. Just quit your whinging and man up a bit. Pathetic.
Sorry to hear that you work for a council. However 'work' is not really the word is it. I have yet to meet anyone local government officer - for that is what we must call you- who actually makes a difference. Hiding behind loads of meaningless phrases (see what your colleague in Basildon was droning on about in the article. Why use the SORRY word when she could prattle on about nothing for ages) you dont actually do anything do you? Residents ask very little of their local authority - clean streets, timely rubbish collections, decent amenities, provision of good quality affordable housing. Do we get that? No we don't. What we do get is lots of non-jobs (what exactly does a Revenues,Benefits and Business Support Manager do?) At the oiled machine that is Basildon Council they cannot even send out the council tax bills properly. Some folk received 2 bills and some didn't receive any. I recently received an invitiation from Basildon Council to visit a centre for the over 50's. I am 36. Another muck up. Paid for by the council tax payers. We can choose where we shop, who we travel with, where we buy our utilities but we cannot choose whch gormless overstaffed, inefficient outfit we pay our council tax to.
[quote][p][bold]Davey B[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Abington86[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Davey B[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Abington86[/bold] wrote: A note to the Revenues, Benefits and Business Support Manager at Basildon council - we are not customers, we are Council Tax payers. If we were customers we could take our custom elsewhere and not put up with the second rate standards that Basildon Council inflict on its residents.[/p][/quote]Move out of the Borough or shut up and live with it.[/p][/quote]work for the council do you?[/p][/quote]Not Basildon, a different Council. Just quit your whinging and man up a bit. Pathetic.[/p][/quote]Sorry to hear that you work for a council. However 'work' is not really the word is it. I have yet to meet anyone local government officer - for that is what we must call you- who actually makes a difference. Hiding behind loads of meaningless phrases (see what your colleague in Basildon was droning on about in the article. Why use the SORRY word when she could prattle on about nothing for ages) you dont actually do anything do you? Residents ask very little of their local authority - clean streets, timely rubbish collections, decent amenities, provision of good quality affordable housing. Do we get that? No we don't. What we do get is lots of non-jobs (what exactly does a Revenues,Benefits and Business Support Manager do?) At the oiled machine that is Basildon Council they cannot even send out the council tax bills properly. Some folk received 2 bills and some didn't receive any. I recently received an invitiation from Basildon Council to visit a centre for the over 50's. I am 36. Another muck up. Paid for by the council tax payers. We can choose where we shop, who we travel with, where we buy our utilities but we cannot choose whch gormless overstaffed, inefficient outfit we pay our council tax to. Abington86
  • Score: -1

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