19 June 2012

Can the excuse of issuing the annual bills run for a year?


Mr Mustard has blogged previously about the message that you get when you email the Council tax section (Revs & Bens as it is known)

The auto-acknowledgement is still the same as it was 2 months ago..

Thank you for your email enquiry to the London Borough of Barnet Council Tax Team. Clear and polite.

Following the issue of council tax bills for the new financial year, which were issued at the end of March and in early April we are currently experiencing a high volume of enquiries what, still, in June? and may be unable to deal with your email within our normal 10 working days very true. We will respond to you as soon as possible and apologise in advance for any delay. Again very polite but no substitute for an answer.

Information about Council Tax can be found on our website at http://www.barnet.gov.uk/council-tax Please go away and answer your own question even though it is not your area of expertise, it is ours.

Payments can also be made on line at http://www.barnet.gov.uk/pay It is very unlikely that the email sent in was "how do I pay" as it tells you on the bill.

Please remember to always quote your Council Tax account reference number in the subject line of all further emails to assist in speeding up a response. One would hope that everyone does this. Unfortunately the council rarely quote my reference when they write to me. Why not?

Make life easier – pay your Council Tax by Direct Debit Make the council's life easier, paying by direct debit can easily mess yours up. If you let the council help themselves when you like and why they like the possibility of you paying something that you don't owe is increased. At this very moment Mr Mustard has his account for the empty property he is still refurbishing (decided as no-one was showing any signs of buying at the right price to get rid of the horrible Everest double glazed windows and fit double glazed sash in wood made and installed by local firms - one makes and one fits) under query and if he paid by direct debit he would probably have had some instalments collected that Mr Mustard does not think are due. As soon as he is satisfied he will pay the account.

What has gone wrong this year? Last year it was the enforced change of software which led to some people being billed twice (including those who pay by direct debit) and this year it is the fault of senior management who have decided upon a massive reorganisation of One Barnet when they don't really know what they are playing with. They "let go" the expert who has kept the service running run for years, Dave Sharpe, when he was exactly the man they needed, the staff respected him (they tell Mr Mustard) and they are pushing staff who don't want to go there into a call centre. Staff are already slowly starting to leave as they find other posts. I am sure that all of the surrounding local authorities will be keen to take the Barnet employees who have performed so well.

Mr Mustard predicts that the March 2013 statistics for council tax recovery will be worse than for March 2012 and he can already hear the twistometer being cranked into life and excuses about the recession being lined up. Bill Murphy and John Gregson and all the other town hall tax dodgers and consultant cronies will be well up the road by then ruining another high performing council somewhere else but don't worry as Mr Mustard will make sure news of your failings follows you to the next council.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

No comments:

Post a Comment

I now moderate comments in the light of the Delfi case. Due to the current high incidence of spam I have had to turn word verification on.