In the last 2 years, 27 Councillors have been sent reminder notices advising that they had fallen behind with payments.The figures, obtained by Freedom of Information Laws, show that 10 Councillors had to be prompted to pay their council tax in the 2013-2014 year and 11 actually failed to make payments the following year.
So far this year, in 4 months, 6 Councillors out of 75 have been sent reminder notices by the local authority. Eben Wilson, of the Tax-Payer Scotland said: “This is an absolute disgrace, representatives of the people of Glasgow can spend tax payers’ money in huge quantities while failing to meet their own responsibilities is a travesty of justice. They have no grounds on which to stand if they are not paying up when everyone else is chased by their own officials, quite often ruthlessly”
Reminder notices are typically issued within a few days of missed payments and before the next installment is due.
In the majority of cases they are sent when someone misses a payment, but they can also be issued if mistakes have occurred – for example if the wrong reference code is used or if someone moves house and does not update their address.
If someone then fails to make a payment within 7 days of the reminder being sent, the local authority will issue a warrant and add an extra 10% on to the amount owed, before then referring the case to debt collectors.
In December of last year, The Evening Times revealed that a total of 15 of the city’s elected representatives were issued with reminder notices after missing payments on their bill issued for the 2010/11 period. Data showed that a staggering £1200 was still owed by one City Councillor for historic bills dating back 3 years. The Councillor, whose identity has not been exposed, owes roughly£500 from 2011/12 and £750 from 2012/13. Glasgow City Council said at the time that the money had been recouped.
The council have said there were currently no Councillors in Council Tax arrears. A spokesman said: “Glasgow’s council tax collection rate is higher than it has ever been, thanks to reforms that have made it administratively easier to pay and a corporate debt policy that seeks to break the cycle of debt for households that regularly go into arrears. People across the city rely on the services we provide and everyone must pay up for Glasgow”.
Figures show the city is owed more than £13 million in Council Tax by residents struggling to manage.