Thousands of incorrect council tax letters sent to Mid Suffolk residents

Mid Suffolk District Council sent out 5,000 letter that were incorrect to Needham Market homes. Pict

Mid Suffolk District Council sent out 5,000 letter that were incorrect to Needham Market homes. Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: ARCHANT

Mid Suffolk District Council sent out 5,000 council tax bills this week to residents of the Suffolk town which have a printing error.

The error means that the 12.7pc increase to council tax made by police and crime commissioner, Tim Passmore, was missed off the breakdown of payments - despite being included in the overall fee.

As a result, the letters were reprinted and sent back out at a cost of £1,545.

One resident, who asked only to be known as Michael, said: “To be honest I didn’t really notice but to miss off part of the bill that has increased the most seems a bit wrong.

“It’s a shame they’ll have to spend so much of the public’s money to do it again. Let’s hope they get it right this time.”

The police and crime commissioner element of council tax has caused controversy across Suffolk this year, after Mr Passmore announced that it would increase by more than 12pc to pay for new officers across the county.

That equates to £24 a year but the extra money raised will go towards financing 29 new recruits to the force, he said.

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A Mid Suffolk District Council spokesman said: “As soon as we became aware that there was a printing error on a small proportion of our council tax bills, we wrote to all 5,000 affected residents.

“In total 45,000 Mid Suffolk District Council bills were issued. A layout problem appeared on 5,000 bills, where the name of a parish/town council over ran to the next line, causing a misalignment.

“The total amount on the bills for the year and individual instalments were correct.

“We understand the importance of residents knowing exactly where their council tax goes. We sent replacement bills to everyone affected, at a cost of £1,545, to explain the issue and to ensure that all the components that made up their Council Tax were clear.”

In total, council tax bills on band B properties - the most common in the country - will rise by around £65 in 2019.

Alongside the 12.7% hike from the police and crime commissioner, Suffolk’s County Council signed off on a 2.99% rise plus a further 1% increase on social care precept meaning that bills will rise by an average 4.7%.

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