Residents in £1.5m council tax debt

Citizens Advice Broxtowe: District manager Sue Maslowska, Service Manager Eastwood David Cook and service manager Beeston, Sally Bestwick.

Citizens Advice Broxtowe: District manager Sue Maslowska, Service Manager Eastwood David Cook and service manager Beeston, Sally Bestwick.

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Figures out this week reveal that Broxtowe residents owe over half a million pound in unpaid council tax.

The shocking figure was released by the chief of National Debtline who wanted to highlight to Government that not enough people were getting the help they needed.

Residents in the Broxtowe local authority area owed £1,623,000 in unpaid council tax bills in March 2015 – equivalent to an average of £33 per dwelling.

The figure is up from £1,572,000 on the previous year.

National debtlines are now urging people to get help if they need it.

The manager of the Citizens Advice Bureau in Eastwood, Sue Maslowska, said: “It’s a lot of money, but there’s a lot of debt out there.

“Last year people in the borough came to us with a total of £7.7m worth of debt.

“I urge people to come and see us if they need help. They can see someone face to face without waiting.”

National Debtline, the free advice service run by the Money Advice Trust, highlighted the figure, which was included in an official submission to the Department for Communities and Local Government, as evidence that too few residents who are struggling to keep up with council tax bills are receiving the free debt advice they need.

A total of 105 calls for help with debt were made from the Broxtowe area to National Debtline last year.

Council Tax is now the fastest growing type of debt problem.

Joanna Elson OBE, chief executive of the Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs National Debtline, said: “We are seeing more and more people seek help with council tax arrears – but the fact that Broxtowe residents owe £1.6 million makes us concerned that many more people in the area are struggling alone. Free debt advice services such as National Debtline are here to help.

“We would like to see local authorities do everything they can to help residents who are falling behind to seek the free advice that can turn their lives around. We know that the earlier a problem is caught, the better the outcome.