Can you complain higher about a council? Billing issues.

Appreciate it might be a daft question, but can you go higher when it concerns a council.
I did see we have an MP's surgery in my town coming up - but when I've looked in more detail, but I get the impression they won't help with council tax problems?

History: I received a new bill 10th March requesting I pay £92.00 a month for the new year from April (I have 12 month billing as opposed to 10)  on the 1st April I sought to make a Universal Credit application along with Council tax reduction as a separate application - the Council at which point (fortunately in writing!) advised they wouldn't be helping with any council tax reduction until actual proof of 1st UC statement was received; so I continued making what I believed in accordance with March 10th statement bill as council tax paid in full. Therefore I have received no discount, no refund for the month I was on UC from the council and this week, blow me down, a new paper bill lands requesting a a new higher monthly amount going forward - today, the council are saying but we did help 5th April to 3rd May which is honestly news to me as their first email received following applying for CTR totally contradicts this and to which my point is being missed that on the 10th March when the new bill was produced I wasn't even on Universal Credit! 
I also had problems with this Council who in early May tried saying I had moved from Suffolk to Kent which really threw and infuriated me, blaming DWP as the culprits - DWP have not responded to being SAR'd either, well the process is now a month overdue with nothing forthcoming on that level. (which was kind of why I thought about going to the MP's surgery but then I'm sure I see Council tax problems are off the radar at surgeries)

Thanks for reading. It just seems to me when it comes to being briefly on Universal Credit getting a reduction from the council is asking for more trouble then it's worth.


  • tacpot12
    tacpot12 Posts: 7,957 Forumite
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    Why does the new paper bill require more than the one issued on 10th March? 
    The comments I post are my personal opinion. While I try to check everything is correct before posting, I can and do make mistakes, so always try to check official information sources before relying on my posts.
  • Torry_Quine
    Torry_Quine Posts: 18,830 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary Bake Off Boss!
    It's your councillor who can help with council tax problems
    Lost my soulmate so life is empty.

    I can bear pain myself, he said softly, but I couldna bear yours. That would take more strength than I have -
    Diana Gabaldon, Outlander
  • tacpot12 said:
    Why does the new paper bill require more than the one issued on 10th March? 
    Got no idea. Never missed paying or even technically been late paying through I do a manual faster payment on payday, rather then Direct Debit but even then fortunately payday has been before the required 1st of the month.

    Both statements have the same bottom totals so I'm thinking possibly they did the first bill in March wrong, is that even possible. This latest bill has council tax reduction typed in reason for new bill issue, but it is baffling as far from any reduction it is making the 8 remaining payments left for the year higher. The Council are saying the 2nd Universal Credit statement award being at zero (expected now I'm in full-time work) is now what prompted a new bill. Emails from them definitely state we won't assess any claim for council tax reduction until the first UC statement was in which on the 7th of a month was never going to help with c tax due on 1st. All seems a bit disjointed, then getting someone on the phone insisting it's correct.  Think I'll make copies of both statements highlight when it doesn't stack up and formally write to them.
  • CIS
    CIS Posts: 12,260 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    edited 3 July 2021 at 1:32PM
    For them to have issued a new demand notice there has to have been a change - an adjustment that results in a nil change to the overall balance can still trigger one. For example - if they put on £10 CTR and then withdraw £10 CTR immediately it would re-generate a bill as there's been a transaction, even if the net amount is not altered. It could be down to as simple as someone making an adjustment, realising other information is not there yet, and undoing the adjustment.

    What may well have happened (and it most commonly is the cause of the issue you are seeing), without seeing the bills, is that it has crossed with one of the payment dates. As they would be unable to legally take the payment, the instalment is skipped and the amount spread over the remaining instalments.

    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery but instead work as a specialist Council Tax paralegal assisting landlords and Council Tax payers with council tax disputes and valuation tribunals. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
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