Councillors pay up council tax

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COUNCILLORS sent notices for outstanding council tax payments have all paid up, the Hartlepool Mail can reveal.

Six councillors in Hartlepool had to be sent reminders over payment of council tax in the last financial year.

It was reported that the six members of Hartlepool Borough Council owed £1,363.36 in unpaid council tax and three of them were sent two or more reminders for late payment.

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The revelations come as Hartlepool Borough Council is looking to shave £14m from its budget over the next three years with cuts to both services and jobs.

But now a council spokesman has told the Mail: “I can confirm that all councillors billed for council tax for 2010-11 had fully paid their council tax by March 31, 2011.

“Councillors are treated the same as any other members of the public and where appropriate would be issued with a payment reminder.”

The identities of those councillors have not been released and council chiefs will not confirm their political allegiances.

It has also not been revealed whether they are still serving as councillors.

Hartlepool Mayor Stuart Drummond said that councillors may struggle to pay their bills, the same as anyone else and help and support is always available.

Earlier this year, the Mail reported that finance chiefs are still chasing council tax arrears worth a staggering £2m.

The council has collected 99.5 per cent of the £375m it has billed people for council tax since the current system was brought in 18 years ago.

In February, there was still an outstanding balance of £2m, with the vast majority of debts relating to the past two to three years.

But council chiefs say some of the debts date back several years.

For council tax inquiries, call the council on (01429) 284277.