Image copyrightPenelope Dudley
Penelope Dudley is behind on her council tax payments. Already stressed about losing her job after being furloughed, she’s worried things may soon get a whole lot worse.
Bailiffs employed to chase late payers will soon have the right to resume visits to homes following an enforced break during the coronavirus lockdown.
“The thought of bailiff charges, the thought of prison, has of course been a source of stress,” said Penelope. “But I have to trust that won’t happen. Things are slightly getting better, but they’re not getting better for everybody and it could easily go downhill again if I was unlucky.”
Some 800,00 UK households are behind on council tax, and from 23 August debt collectors can re-start work chasing payment.
According to the Local Government Association, £700m is owed in council tax since the start of lockdown – a figure that’s expected to grow.
Emergency legislation was introduced in April banning bailiffs from visiting homes to enforce debts during the Covid-19 restrictions. But next month, Penelope fears debt enforcement agents may come knocking to demand payment.
“I’ve had some help from charities and my local church, but I’m not sure how it will all be in a few months’ time. The thought of bailiffs is stressful. I had a dark moment on the phone when I was speaking to an advisor who said it
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Image copyrightPA MediaImage caption
Preston has seen a rise in positive tests for coronavirus
Lockdown measures could return to Preston in the next few days after a rise in Covid-19 cases, Lancashire’s director of public health said.
Dr Sakthi Karunanithi expects stricter rules to be imposed in the city as they have been in east Lancashire, Greater Manchester and parts of West Yorkshire.
The council has already asked residents to follow a number of extra measures in a bid to halt the sprea…
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Image copyrightGoogleImage caption
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The company, which employs about 200 people, remains open and said it is “following strict procedures”.
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