Pay up or go to jail

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - OPINION -

COUN­CIL tax dodgers felt the force of the law last week, as the coun­cil cracked down on non-pay­ers.

At Ash­ford mag­is­trates court on May 4, Vin­cent Stick­els of Hay­wain Close, Kingsnorth; He­len Will­ing of Stir­ling Road, New­town and Paul Chap­man of Crown­field Road, Ash­ford, were con­victed of non-pay­ment of coun­cil tax.

Will­ing, 34, whose debt stands at £1042.51, was or­dered to pay it off in monthly in­stal­ments of £200 or be sent to prison.

Both Stick­els, 36, and Chap­man, 45, will ap­pear in court again on June 1. Stick­els will have to pay his £5,953.21 in full, while Chap­man will have to come up with a rea­son­able of­fer to pay his £2,415.82 bill.

The coun­cil’s rev­enues and ben­e­fits man­ager Peter Pur­cell said: “Many peo­ple don’t re­alise that if they don’t pay coun­cil tax the ul­ti­mate sanc­tion is that they can be sent to prison.

“Any­one who is gen­uinely hav­ing trou­ble mak­ing pay­ments should call the coun­cil on 01233 331111. They may be en­ti­tled to ben­e­fits to help with the cost.”

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