Ayrshire families in crisis over Council Tax arrears are invited to attend a special advice surgery in Ayr on November 25 hosted by Corri Wilson MP for Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock and Council Tax Advisors (CTA), a not-for-profit organisation that mediates with Councils to agree sustainable repayment solutions.
Council Tax debt is one of the fastest growing consumer debt problems in the UK – some six million people or 1-in-10 households have Council Tax arrears and the total owed is more than £1 billion and rising. Research shows that more than half of people in arrears are families with children who are struggling to make ends meet against a backdrop of welfare cuts, wage freezes, zero-hour contracts and the rising cost of living.
SNP MP Corri Wilson invited Council Tax Advisors to her constituency office in Ayr to provide free advice to people in arrears. Wilson, a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Debt and Personal Finance, arranged the surgery after consultation with CTA which specialises in helping vulnerable people reach affordable solutions to resolve Council Tax debt and mediates directly with councils and sheriff officers on clients’ behalf.
CTA has advised more than 250,000 people on Council Tax debt, helping to broker sustainable repayment agreements rather than short-term fixes that can lead to more problems. It was established four years ago by Chris Richards to provide free expert advice to people facing serious problems, including enforcement action as a result of Council Tax debt. Richards had personal experience of stressful encounters with authorities and enforcement agents over Council Tax debt and set up CTA to assist others in similar situations.
Corri Wilson MP for Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock said: “Many families in Ayrshire are under immense financial and emotional pressure right now and struggling to pay essential bills like Council Tax. It’s important for people to seek expert help sooner rather than later because arrears can lead to serious financial consequences. I’d encourage anyone worried about Council Tax debt to come to our surgery on November 25.”
Chris Richards, Founder and Head of Client Services at Council Tax Advisors said: “It’s scary when arrears and charges begin mounting up and you can’t see a way out. CTA can work out a realistic and affordable repayment plan and negotiate with the Council or Sheriff Officers on your behalf. The CTA approach has proven far more successful in recovering debt than enforcement action which causes huge stress but in 80% of cases doesn’t actually recover any money.”
CTA has forged constructive relationships with Councils across the UK, resulting in benefits to both council finances and people in financial difficulty. CTA assists councils in introducing practical ways to deal responsibly with vulnerable debtors while its emphasis on sustainable repayment solutions helps to minimise Council Tax arrears and maximise revenue for vital services.
The Council Tax Surgery takes place on Friday November 25 at 1000 at Corri Wilson’s constituency office, 45a Fort Street, Ayr, KA7 1DG. Anyone who cannot attend but would like to speak to the CTA team in confidence about Council Tax debt can call the CTA helpline on 0141 536 0184 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.