Bob wins council tax rebate battle

Bob and Jeanette Solway

Bob and Jeanette Solway

First published in News

A FORMER soldier has won his battle to change his council tax band and is set to receive a rebate of more than £2,000.

Despite previously being told the banding was correct and nothing could be done, Bob Solway, 60, of Walthams, on Pitsea ’s Chalvedon estate, continued to fight for what he believed was right.

He first challenged the banding of his home in April when he discovered “identical” properties in his street were classed as Bs, but his was C.

Mr Solway, who served in the Army for ten years and now works at Southend Airport as an aircraft engineer, has lived there with his wife, Jeanette, 59, since 1988, and claimed they had been overpaying council tax since its introduction in 1993.

It has now emerged the couple have been overpaying council tax for more than 20 years.

Mr Solway said: “I’m very happy we have eventually received the result we wanted and with a bit of luck we will also receive a cheque for all the overpayments we have made.

“It’s a substantial amount. We have just had the roof repaired and a new boiler fitted so it will cover the cost of that.”

Mr Solway, who suffers from MS, contacted the Echo in July after reading about Jennifer Cooper being awarded a £1,200 rebate from Basildon Council after she realised her former home in Moretons, also on the estate, had been incorrectly banded C when it should have been a B. She had overpaid for 14 years.

He added: “It’s definitely worth other people pursuing it, it’s what you’re entitled to.

“It’s just five to ten minutes worth of paperwork and that’s it.”

A Basildon Council spokesman said: “We receive weekly reports from the Valuations Office Agency and adjust resident’s accounts within a week if an appeal has been successful.

“We have written to Mr Solway about the options for repayment of this credit which he could have in a lump sum, or he could leave it on his council tax account until the credit is used up.”

The Valuations Office Agency is responsible for council tax banding and deals with resident’s appeals.

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