You’re worse than cowboys

Motherwell Civic Centre
Motherwell Civic Centre

A PENSIONER who was late paying a tax bill has branded his council a ‘cowboy outfit’ after debt collectors were sent to his home.

Patrick Leonard was shocked when he was ordered to pay the remainder of his annual bill before it was due AND the expenses of sheriff officers.

Mr Leonard (65), of Cobbleton Road, New Stevenston, claims Labour-controlled North Lanarkshire Council is ‘ripping off’ taxpayers who are late with payments.

He added: “A third-rate cowboy outfit wouldn’t operate like this.”

Mr Leonard and his wife, Wendy, were late paying their monthly £185 council tax three times last year.

The couple didn’t realise that a third lapse means the council issues a summary warrant notice.

That meant they were ordered to pay their remaining council tax for the year - £555 - plus a 10 per cent surcharge immediately.

He subsequently settled the outstanding bill and paid the sheriff officers’ expenses of nearly £100.

Brian Cook, head of revenue services for North Lanarkshire Council, said: “We, in common with other local authorities, follow a laid down statutory procedure for recovery and payment of council tax.”

Full story in this week’s Motherwell Times, out now.