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Four councillors warned: Pay your council tax bills; warning letters sent to the individuals in last 12 months.

Byline: JOANNE DOUGLAS @examiner

KIRKLEES is still having to remind some councillors to pay their council tax bills.

And two received warning letters as recently as last month.

Kirklees Council has issued five warning letters to four councillors in the last 12 months.

One was later issued with a summons, and a liability order was obtained which allows the council to take legal action to recover the unpaid amount.

A further warning letter was sent to the councillor, who is at least two months in arrears.

The Examiner has learnt the name of the councillor but has chosen not to publish it for now due to their current personal circumstances.

Kirklees Council says it is not in the public interest to name the other three councillors who received warning letters as they were not in arrears of more than two months.

Five first reminders were sent out to elected members in 2016/17.

In the most recent case, a councillor was issued with a reminder on March 23. The account was in arrears by no more than two months and the councillor paid up in full.

Last November another reminder was issued to another summons on December 12 and a liability order granted on January 18.

Kirklees told the Examiner they were then informed of a "change in circumstances on 25/01/2017 which meant the liability order was withdrawn as the change in circumstances meant the liability had changed."

A new account was set up, but Kirklees issued a new first reminder on March 14.

In another case, a reminder was issued on May 4, and the account was paid in full, while a fourth reminder notice was issued on April 27, 2016 and again the councillor paid up.

Kirklees cited a legal judgement for not naming the three councillors who paid up as they were less than two months in arrears.

But some of the arrears were incurred after extensive publicity received the names of four out of five councillors who hadn't paid their council tax bills.

A legal judgement states a councillor can fulfil their duties - vote on budget matters - if they are less than two months in arrears.

If they are more than two months in arrears then they cannot vote on budget matters.

Two Labour councillors, Jean Calvert and Amanda Pinnock, are still believed to be suspended by the Labour Party following their behaviour after the Examiner reported they were in arrears last year.

Clr Pinnock accused the Examiner of being racist for exposing her, while Clr Calvert claimed the Examiner had misrepresented her comments. The Labour Party regionally was asked last week for an update on the state of their suspensions but none has been provided.

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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Apr 27, 2017
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