Barack Obama famously said, “You get the politicians you deserve,” and whilst there is a lot of truth in that statement, I would add onto the end – “but let’s be kind.”
The reason I say this is that recently there have been some stories in the local media relating to Mendip councillors who were temporarily in arrears with their council tax payments. I know that in the grand scheme of things this is not a big story to most of us. But alas, there are always those who like to cause trouble and upset, especially to those in the public eye.
Council tax funds many important local services like emergency services, rubbish collection, libraries, schools, streetlights and much more.
And it’s important that councillors make their contribution and pay their council tax. All of us must do this. But especially councillors. We are public figures, doing a job we have been elected to do. Most of us work hard doing it and get huge amounts of satisfaction from.
But people are human. Including councillors. Some genuinely forget, and some get into financial difficulties. We can all suffer hardships and experience oversights in our increasingly busy lives.
If you are having trouble paying your council tax, please contact us. The sooner you do this, the better, because we can help. We are very aware that many people living in our district have new or increased financial worries because they’ve lost work or income due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
As far as possible, we want to help make sure that your council tax doesn’t add further to those worries.
As a matter of immediate help, I wanted to remind you that you can make a payment, set up a Direct Debit, or at any time change your payment arrangements online; reschedule your council tax instalments so that they start later or are spread over a longer time.
Most importantly, for all for those in the most difficulty you can apply for council tax support. This is your council’s support scheme and may help you reduce the amount of council tax you have to pay. To see if you may qualify and to claim, please see: https://www.mendip.gov.uk/counciltaxsupport
You may wish to talk to Citizens Advice. This trusted, independent organisation can give you advice on benefits, employment, debt and budgeting, housing queries, and consumer and family issues. Call Citizens Advice Mendip on 03 444 889 623 Mon- Fri 10am-4pm. Or for email advice follow the link at the top right of their website www.citizensadvicemendip.org.uk.
You get the politicians you deserve, but we also have a duty of care to our councillors – who are human beings – too.
If you have any questions for me, then do get in touch on email [email protected] or on my Facebook page: @Ros.Wyke. I am always happy to hear from you.
Written by Cllr Ros Wyke, Leader of Mendip District Council
Please get in touch either on my Facebook page @Ros.Wyke or you can send me an email: [email protected].