YP Comment: Council tax and a right to know. Name non-payment councillors
IF it was not for the Freedom of Information Act, and the successful campaign to compel public bodies to release matters of public interest which would previously have remained confidential, readers of The Yorkshire Post would be none the wiser about those elected councillors who have been the subject of legal proceedings for council tax non-payment.
What is disturbing, however, is the fact that many local authorities still do not believe that they have a duty to disclose such details. While some responded to the request promptly and professionally, others only did so after this newspaper lodged an appeal against their intransigence while two – Leeds and Sheffield – still refuse to comply.
Council tax arrears spans political divide
COUNCILLORS revealed to have run-up arrears on their council tax payments come from all the major parties and included members from every authority responding to a Freedom of Information request.
Bradford led the way with eight councillors issued with a summons over the last two years, for amounts owed ranging from £679 to £1209.15. Former council leader David Green was one of the eight while Labour colleagues Arshad Hussain, who received allowances of nearly £26,000 according to the latest published figures for 2014/15, and Abid Hussain were both sent a summons for non-payment in each of the last two years.
“In Rotherham, Labour councillor Tajamal Khan, who could not be contacted, was issued with a summons for £1,128 last year while two others [Councillors] received final notices.”
The Yorkshire councillors who haven’t paid their council tax
A YORKSHIRE council leader who received almost £50,000 in allowances is among at least 28 councillors across the region issued with a court summons for non-payment of council tax over the last two years.
At least a further 70 more have been issued with either reminders or final notices for late payment including one whose arrears meant they were barred by law from taking part in a key council budget meeting.
Tajamal Khan RMBC page: http://www.rotherham.gov.uk/councillors/116/tajamal_khan