COUNCILLORS who have failed to pay their council tax on time are facing criticism.
Following a report by the BBC, it was revealed that six councillors from Harrow were in arrears, which have since been paid.
Concerns are being raised that this sends the wrong message to taxpayers throughout the borough.
Conservative Group leader Councillor Susan Hall said: “It is quite shocking to hear that several councillors were in arrears. As councillors, we are responsible for setting the council tax our residents have to pay. We are also very aware of all the important services paid for by council tax, so it really should be the first bill we pay ourselves.
“It sets a very poor example for residents to follow, who in turn should expect better conduct from their councillors. As with everyone, sometimes there are genuine extenuating circumstances that are beyond the control of councillors, but generally we should do all we can to prioritise paying our council tax.”
Mrs Earl, of Hamilton Crescent, Harrow, wrote to the Observer asking whether or not the councillors would be ‘subjected to the same treatment as less affluent and less fortunate members of their constituencies, ie threatening letters and visits from bailiffs?’.
Fern Silverio, Harrow Council’s head of service for collections and benefits, told the Observer the authority has an excellent collection rate for council tax and the process for collections from councillors is exactly the same for taxpayers.
Matthew Sinclair, chief executive of the Tax Payers’ Alliance, said: “Councillors failing to pay their council tax on time will hardly inspire the confidence of local residents. It’s not surprising that some of them are struggling though, like many households are finding it tough to afford the bill after a decade of council tax rises. These councillors should be setting an example and paying on time though, not creating more work and costing taxpayers’ money through reminder notices.”