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Finance chiefs in Richmond are offering reassurance to residents who may find themselves struggling to pay their bills during the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak.

With some people facing reduced incomes or job losses as a result of the outbreak, the Council has confirmed it will be relaxing its normal rules on non-payment of Council Tax.

Whilst the crisis continues, no enforcement or recovery action will be initiated against people who fall behind with their payments.

Cllr Robin Brown, Lead Member for Finance at Richmond Council, said:

“We understand that significant numbers of people face reductions in their wages and income and in some cases the loss of their jobs altogether.

“We want to do all we can to help those of our residents who are facing money problems, which is why we won’t take enforcement action if you are temporarily unable to pay your Council Tax.

“This easing of the rules will continue until the Coronavirus crisis has come to an end. After that we will work with our residents and tenants to help them get Council Tax accounts back on track.”

There are a number of debt advice services available from charities and voluntary agencies. If people are facing spiralling debts they can obtain advice and support from organisations like Step Change or the National Debt Line.

The Council is strongly encouraging people to continue paying these bills if they are able to do so. Not only will this avoid them building up debt problems in the future, but the Council relies on this income to help fund the vital frontline services that local people rely on, especially the support provide for the borough’s most vulnerable residents.

– from a Richmond Council press release - 20 March 2020