Council asks residents to watch out for incorrect bills

Around 3,000 householders are receiving council tax bills this week that have a changed payment schedule. 
Due to a system error, residents who usually pay monthly over 12 months have been sent a bill with payments over 10 months instead. Monthly payments on these bills are therefore higher than residents would expect.  Less than 7% of households across the District have been affected and anyone who usually pays their bills over 10 months will see no difference. Council tax bills are issued every year with residents getting the option to pay their bills over either 10 months or 12 months depending on their preference. A new system has been brought in to improve efficiency and unfortunately, despite extensive testing, all accounts paying over 12 months defaulted to the 10-month option.  The error was spotted quickly and steps have been put in place to resolve the issue. All households affected will be sent an amended bill by Saturday 27 March showing the payments changed back to a 12-month schedule.  Payments are not due to be taken by Direct Debit, or paid by cash, until 6 April so no residents will need to make a higher payment as a result of this error. If any residents think their bill may be affected they don’t need to do anything.  Their amended bill should arrive by Saturday 27 March.  Jan Britton, Managing Director of Publica Group, who manage the council tax billing process on behalf of Cotswold District Council said; “We would like to apologise to any residents who have received this inaccurate bill and any confusion or upset it may have caused.  “Our teams did a huge amount of work to get the bills out this year as we were bringing in a new system to improve our efficiency. Despite extensive testing, some bills defaulted to a different payment scheme. They are devastated this error has occurred. “We will have correct bills issued by next week and will automatically change the payment systems back to residents previous preferences so there is no impact on what residents are paying.”