Prison for council tax defaulter

A former Seghill resident who consistently failed to pay his council tax has been sent to prison for 22 days.

Brian Ridley, 44, now of Cramlington Terrace, West Allotment, and formerly of Murrayfield, Seghill, was already subject to a suspended prison sentence for failing to pay council tax.

He appeared before the court on Monday, December 8, on warrant and the court heard that he still owed council tax of £1,179 for the period between 2009 and 2010 and that he had failed to adhere to five court orders for payments.

Ridley was sent to prison immediately for a total of 22 days.

Northumberland County Council deputy leader Dave Ledger, policy board member for corporate resources, said: “The council has a duty to its paying residents to take action against those who refuse to pay.

“We have no alternative but to continue to bring council tax defaulters to court to ensure payment is received for essential local services.

“Whilst sending someone to prison is a rare occurrence and will usually only happen in the worst cases, it can and will happen.”

If a person finds themselves in genuine difficulty with the payment of their council tax, they are urged to contact the council’s recovery team on (01670) 624886 to discuss payment.

Similarly, if a council tax payer is in receipt of low income then there are reductions available through the council tax reduction scheme and they should contact the Benefits Team on 0845 600 6400.