Last Word: Council's costly mistake

NORTH Herts District Council (NHDC) has made a blunder which will ultimately cost taxpayers almost �400 to rectify, writes Louise McEvoy. NHDC sent out council tax bills containing an error to almost 750 pensioners across North Herts. The bills did not di

NORTH Herts District Council (NHDC) has made a blunder which will ultimately cost taxpayers almost �400 to rectify, writes Louise McEvoy.

NHDC sent out council tax bills containing an error to almost 750 pensioners across North Herts.

The bills did not display the entitlement to council tax benefit for those in receipt of a specific element of Pension Credit.

This mistake will have undoubtedly worried some of the most vulnerable people in the district, and caused unnecessary confusion.


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But it has also proved a costly mistake, with council taxpayers picking up the bill.

The fact the error was made in the first place is irksome, but what compounds the matter is the flagrant disregard the council appears to have for our money.

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By sending an apologetic letter to affected residents separately to the revised bill, the cost of rectifying the situation has doubled.

This unnecessary cost has been incurred by a council which this year said an increase in council tax was necessary to help make up a budgetary shortfall of more than �1m in the coming financial year, rising to nearly �2m the following year.

When considering the cost of the blunder, it is also worth remembering that taxpayers have paid NHDC workers to repeat a job which was not done properly the first time around.

All in all it doesn't seem to represent value for money now, does it?

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