Council battling backlog in tax queries

Council tax bill        PHOTO: PA

Council tax bill PHOTO: PA

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Council chiefs in Preston are warning of a backlog in dealing with tax inquiries.

Leaders at Preston Council say they have issued thousands of bills, and are struggling to keep up with responses.

The city council has put up its share of council tax by 1.99 per cent, with a new Band D charge of £290.73.

The following response was sent to a Preston resident this week, after a query about council tax: “We are currently working with a six-week backlog on correspondence and emails. Items are being dealt with in date order and your patience is greatly appreciated.

“We request that you do not contact again and we will respond to your correspondence as soon as possible.”

Adrian Robinson, deputy director, customer services, at Preston Council, said: “This is our busiest time of year, having just issued over 60,000 individual council tax bills and over 5,000 separate bills for business rates.

“This peak in workload always has an effect but it’s true too that we’ve been operating with a backlog over the last few weeks, which hasn’t helped.

“However, the good news is that with the hard work, support and dedication of our staff who do a great job in often demanding circumstances, we have cut the backlog down by half to just over three weeks.

“We really appreciate the support of taxpayers and customers who have been bearing with us during this period.

“We are sorry for any inconvenience but we are doing all we can to get back to a normal caseload as soon as is possible.”