More protests in council tax row

Jade Vaughan-Roe, who was served council tax summons.

Jade Vaughan-Roe, who was served council tax summons.

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More than 30 people are due before Sheffield Magistrates Court for non-payment of council tax.

The council is hauling scores of residents before the bench after issuing thousands of letters demanding people meet sums they owe upfront or face legal action.

Today is the latest wave in a long line of proceedings which have been launched against people who have been unable to keep up with bill payments.

Earlier this month The Star exposed the chaotic scenes which unfolded in and outside the court as the first batch of people were issued with summonses following a change in council tax legislation issued in April.

The Benefits Justice Campaign has organised a second protest outside the court today to encourage the council to cancel all future court proceedings and provide more support to vulnerable residents who have fallen into arrears.

Shirley Foster, of the Sheffield Benefits Justice Campaign, said: “For future hearings we will be seeking assurances from all those involved that they will observe and respect the right of defendants when attending court.

“Saying that they ‘have’ to collect this tax is entirely untrue. The council had a choice to make in the way they dealt with the gap in funding. Other councils have found ways to cover it without deliberately targeting those least able to pay.”