FOUR people in Oxfordshire have been named and shamed over failing to pay their council tax.

The residents were also fined after they did not return information to South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse District Councils following demands for unpaid council tax.

If someone fails to pay their council tax, local authorities send out requests for personal information, such as work details, bank and income details, in order to retrieve the money owed.

ALSO READ: 'Let's avoid undermining local democracy' write council of local plan

It also allows the councils to take decisions on the most appropriate course of enforcement action and it is a criminal offence for someone not to return this information.

Although action against five debtors was cancelled due to them contacting the council and making payment after receiving summonses, on Monday, January 13 at Oxford Magistrates’ Court, the following people were found guilty for not returning the information.

  • Zoe Major, Heron Lane, Didcot , was fined £60, as well as required to pay £100 costs and a £32 victim surcharge.
  • Thomas Dancy, Mill Street, Wantage was fined £110, plus £100 costs and a £32 victim surcharge.
  • Mr Parulska, Crabtree Road, Botley was also fined £110, as well as £100 costs and a £32 victim surcharge.
  • David Mitchell, Craft Road, Wallingford was fined £110, plus £100 costs and a £32 victim surcharge.

The above charges were in addition to any debt recovery costs previously incurred.

David Turner, deputy leader and Cabinet member for finance at South Oxfordshire District Council, said: “We have a responsibility to ensure that everyone pays their council tax on time. It is an important part of ensuring that everyone pays their share towards our public services.”

ALSO READ: Historic pub plans major revamp

Andy Crawford, Cabinet member for finance at Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “All those we have taken action against have ignored numerous notices and refused to contact us or pay their taxes over a number of years, while continuing to use the services we provide, along with those provided by the county council and police. We have bent over backwards to engage with them however our priority is to protect the public purse and so had little alternative but to prosecute.”