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Council Tax: Non-payment

Volume 503: debated on Thursday 7 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for North West Norfolk of 18 May 2009, Official Report, column 1214W, on council tax: non-payment, how many applications for liability orders were made to each magistrates' court in 2008-09; (308525)

(2) what assessment he has made of the reason for the increase in applications for liability orders.

The table shows the number of applications for council tax and business rate liability orders made within each accounting centre in 2008-09.

The figures have been extracted from the intranet fees accounting system (IFAS). Fee income and volume are captured by accounting centres in IFAS. Some accounting centres comprise of more than one magistrates court. However, some of these accounting centres merge the management information which means it is not possible to supply data at individual court level.

Applications for liability orders attract the same fee charge, and are therefore recorded on the IFAS in the same way. It is not therefore possible to distinguish between applications for liability orders made in relation to council tax and business rates.

The overall number of applications made in 2008-09 as shown (3,121,089) is marginally different from my answer (3,124,406) to the hon. Member for North-West Norfolk (Mr. Bellingham) of 18 May 2009, Official Report, columns 1214-1215W. The latter figure was extracted from the IFAS database at the time the hon. Member for North-West Norfolk tabled his question, but in order to obtain a breakdown by accounting centre, data have been re-extracted from the IFAS. The IFAS is a “live” database, meaning that, inevitably, the normal course of regular system updating means that various additions, deletions, amendments and corrections will have been made to the data it contains relating to applications in 2008-09, giving rise to the marginal difference.

Enforcement action in respect of non-payment of council tax is entirely a matter for local authorities. The Ministry of Justice has made no assessment of the reasons behind the increase in council tax liability orders.

Number of applications for council tax liability orders made by accounting centre in England and Wales, 2008-09

Accounting centre

Number

City of London Magistrates

1,525

Horseferry Road Magistrates

26,826

Bexley Magistrates

7,035

Bromley Magistrates

8,957

Camberwell Green Magistrates

81,412

Croydon Magistrates

20,786

Greenwich Magistrates

29,837

Kingston-upon-Thames Magistrates

6,855

Richmond-upon-Thames Magistrates

9,141

London—West Group Magistrates

82,726

Wimbledon Magistrates

21,182

South Western Magistrates

15,935

London North East Area Magistrates

133,815

Barnet Magistrates

7,160

Hendon Magistrates

16,333

Brent Magistrates

29,010

Enfield Magistrates

19,585

Harrow Magistrates

5,854

Highbury Corner Magistrates

48,092

Haringey Magistrates

16,453

Uxbridge Magistrates

13,569

Bedfordshire Magistrates

47,465

Cambridgeshire Magistrates

27,536

Essex Magistrates—Civil

80,578

Hertfordshire Central Accounting Unit

21,905

Kent Central Finance Unit—East Kent Magistrates— Finance Centre

25,575

Kent Central Finance Unit—North and Central Kent Magistrates

50,728

Norfolk Magistrates

41,269

Suffolk Magistrates Court

37,912

Surrey Magistrates—Central Finance Unit

35,381

Sussex Magistrates

80,870

Central Buckinghamshire Magistrates—Aylesbury

34,828

Oxfordshire Magistrates

27,277

Berkshire Magistrates—Reading

42,763

Bath Magistrates

3,452

Bristol Magistrates

24,733

Taunton Magistrates

7,442

North Somerset Magistrates

12,840

North Avon Magistrates—Yate

9,041

South Somerset Magistrate

9,491

Devon and Cornwall—North Devon Magistrates

3,583

Devon and Cornwall—East Cornwall Magistrates

14,924

Devon and Cornwall—West Cornwall Magistrates

9,428

Devon and Cornwall—Central Devon Magistrates

9,413

Devon and Cornwall—South Devon Magistrates

11,057

Devon and Cornwall—Plymouth District Magistrates

18,183

Dorset Magistrates—Central Finance Office

41,821

Gloucestershire Magistrates—Central Finance Office

27,696

Wiltshire—Swindon Magistrates

25,667

Hampshire and Isle of Wight—North East and North West Hampshire Magistrates

17,059

Hampshire and Isle of Wight—South West Hampshire Magistrates

33,025

Hampshire and Isle of Wight—South and South East Hampshire Magistrates

35,065

Hampshire and Isle of Wight—Isle of Wight (IOW) Magistrates

7,750

Gwent Magistrates

33,176

North Wales Magistrates—Central Finance Office, Denbigh

34,330

South Wales Area 1—Central Finance Unit Unisys

65,349

Dyfed Powys Magistrates

24,629

High Peak

4,304

North East Derbyshire and Dales Magistrates

15,812

Southern Derbyshire Magistrates

33,969

Leicester Magistrates

26,165

Loughborough Magistrates

28,239

Lincolnshire Magistrates

24,162

Northamptonshire Magistrates

32,771

Mansfield (Rosemary St.) Magistrates

9,110

Newark Magistrates

4,431

Nottingham Magistrates

44,782

Worksop Magistrates

7,432

Staffordshire Magistrates

67,958

Walsall Magistrates

17,582

Sandwell Magistrates

10,191

Wolverhampton Magistrates Court

18,932

Dudley and Halesowen Magistrates

17,329

Warwickshire Magistrates

20,059

West Mercia Magistrates

37,309

Birmingham (VLC) Magistrates—(Corporation St.)

77,568

Coventry Magistrates

18,697

Solihull Magistrates

10,472

Sutton Coldfield Magistrates

1,120

Cumbria Magistrates—Central Payments Unit

24,066

Bolton Magistrates

19,831

Bury Magistrates

11,006

Manchester Magistrates

66,085

Oldham Magistrates

18,837

Rochdale Magistrates

20,926

Salford Magistrates

9,870

Stockport Magistrates

22,185

Tameside Magistrates

334

Trafford Magistrates

17,966

Wigan and Leigh Magistrates

20,180

East Lancashire Magistrates—Blackburn

19,838

Fylde Coast Magistrates—Blackpool

24,617

Pennine Magistrates—Burnley

20,514

South West Lancashire Magistrates—Chorley

8,847

Preston and Lancaster Magistrates

16,978

Knowsley Magistrates

11,472

Liverpool Magistrates

62,608

St. Helens Magistrates

9,786

Cheshire Accounting Division1

34,811

Cleveland Magistrates

44,277

Durham Magistrates

41,219

Humber—East Yorkshire Magistrates—Beverley

34,182

Humber—North Lincolnshire Magistrates—Scunthorpe and Grimsby Central Finance Unit

12,564

Humber—North Lincolnshire Magistrates—Scunthorpe and Grimsby Central Finance Unit

9,064

North Yorkshire Magistrates

18,762

Northumbria Magistrates

106,822

South Yorkshire Magistrates

104,221

West Yorkshire Magistrates

145,498

Total England and Wales

3,121,089

1 Was North, South and West pre 1 July 2009

Source:

Intranet Fees Accounting System