Friday, 25 June 2010

Cases Missed by Council.

By Ben Aulakh

“Despite best endeavour, it was down to odd cases being missed,” the explanation from a Warwickshire council after court summons were wrongly sent out to business owners in it’s area.

Warwick District Council made the unfortunate mistake of sending summonses to appear to business owners who took advantage of a government scheme to defer some of their business rates to the following year.

Diana Hastings, a business woman in the county took advantage of the government offered scheme to defer three per cent of her 2009/2010 business rates bill, paying it back during the 2010/2011 and 2011/2012 financial years.

However Mrs Hastings was sent a court summons at the end of the 2009 financial year stating that she owed more than £700 in unpaid rates.

Rachael Carpenter from Warwick District Council said, “As this scheme was something very unique and indeed new, this caused both the system provider – Civica – and the District Councils quite a lot of pain.”

Miss Carpenter adds that the problem was flagged up with Civica at the end of March this year, when they immediately began to work on a solution.

An upgrade to sort out the problem was released Civica and installed by the council on April 30, after being fully tested by local authority staff.

Rachel went on, “During that time, we tried to identify all the accounts of individuals who fell victim to this error, and manually rectify them. 

“Unfortunately it wasn’t possible to obtain a report of these errors, so it was a manual process; with best endeavours, seemingly, odd cases were missed.”

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