East Renfreshire has the top return of Council Tax in Scotland, it has turned out.
The area can boast that its collection rate is 98 per cent for the year 2014/15, making it the best rate in the country.
The council claims the high return is down to a number of factors: the introduction and uptake of paying by paperless direct debit; the council’s commitment to produce the correct bill to people who have had a change of circumstance to give them the best chance of paying over the remainder of the financial year; and giving resdents who prefer to pay a smaller amount over a longer period to avoid falling into arrears the choice of paying over 12 months rather than 10.
The news was welcomed by the convener for Corporate Services, Councillor Ian McAlpine.
Councillor McAlpine said: “This is great news for the residents of East Renfrewshire.
“With the pressure on the council’s finances continuing, maximising our council tax payment rate is more important than ever.
“Council tax generates income to enable us to fund better services for our residents.
“We have managed to achieve year-on-year improvement in collection, which is excellent.
“And while we’re delighted, we won’t rest on our laurels and will keep working hard to ensure it continues.”
For those who are worried about keeping up with their council tax payments, or have arrears, they are asked to contact the council on 0141 577 3208, or pop into the Barrhead office where staff will help you work out a plan to get you back on track with your payments.
For those worried about debt, and who owe money to creditors, the council’s money advice workers can provide you with help on how to deal with your debts.
Help is provided on a strictly confidential basis.
Councillor McAlpine added that council staff were there to help those residents who are having trouble paying their tax.
He said: “If anyone is worried about keeping up with their council tax payments or has council tax arrears, our money advice team can help by providing advice and assistance on how to deal with your debts.
“All information provided to the money advice team is confidential and will not be passed on, unless you give us permission to do so.”
Residents can call money advice for free on 0800 952 1023 and quote ‘money advice’ or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.