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Compassionate and considered approach helps keep council tax and business rates collection high

Compassionate and considered approach helps keep council tax and business rates collection high

16 April 2021
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Wokingham Borough’s Council Tax and Business Rate collection rates have remained high despite Covid-19.

With many in the UK facing financial difficulties, the borough council has worked with Citizens’ Advice Wokingham, the business community and residents of the borough to support the entire community through the pandemic, taking a compassionate approach to Council Tax and Businesses Rate collection. This has included:

•Suspending recovery action for the first six months of the financial year

•Making sure residents and businesses have received appropriate discounts and exemptions

•Facilitating deferred and sustainable payment plans

•Withholding enforcement action to work with residents and businesses proactively on solutions

With the help of these methods, the borough’s Council Tax collection rate was 99.1% and the Business Rate collection rate was 98.8%.

Deputy Chief Executive Graham Ebers said: “The council has yet again achieved outstanding collection rates as part of its strong overall financial management. We rely on good collection rates to fund all the vital services we provide - in particular looking after vulnerable adults and children (which is our main expense) so I’d like to thank everyone who has managed to make their payments in such a difficult year. Without maintaining high collection rates our ability to respond to the needs of the community throughout the pandemic would be impaired.

“We always try to work with people to pay rather than move to enforcement, and have taken a particularly compassionate and careful approach to collection this year because of the pandemic. These collection rates suggest this has paid off and that is good news for all residents as it keeps us in a reasonable financial position.” 

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