Council tax collection is one of the highest

AN INNOVATIVE service has helped Arun District Council become one of the county’s best for collecting tax.

The council was the first district or borough council in West Sussex to introduce a 24-hour council tax payment and information hotline.

Calling 01903 730728 enables registered council tax payers to settle their bills at any time. It has hundreds of users a month.

The facility enabled Arun to collect 80.11 per cent of council tax due in the year to last November 30. Only Worthing council, at 80.53 per cent, was higher.

The feat puts Arun on course to top the total 98 per cent of council tax collected last year by the end of this March.

The district council collects council tax from more than 70,000 householders for the services it provides and on behalf of West Sussex County Council, Sussex Police Authority and individual parish councils.

Cllr Dudley Wensley, Arun’s cabinet member for central services, said: “We owe a duty to all residents to maximise the revenue to the authority and keep the council tax rate as low as possible. In the end, those who do pay, subsidise those who do not.”

Direct debit is used by some 56,000 households – or 80 per cent – to pay their council tax bills.