PEOPLE unable to pay their council tax bill in southern Oxfordshire might be able to get help if they have fallen behind.

South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse District Councils have said they are 'very aware' that many people have new or increased financial worries because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The two councils are especially concerned that people could get into further debt if they do not keep up with their payments and so have written to more than 6,000 households, who are not currently in receipt of council tax support, whose accounts are in arrears, advising them on the options that are available and urging them to get in touch.

Leigh Rawlins, cabinet member for finance at South Oxfordshire District Council, said: "Above all, our message is – if you are struggling to pay, please contact us.”

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The councils can also now confirm that residents receiving a reduction on their council tax via the councils’ Council Tax Reduction scheme, will receive up to a further £150 off their 2020/21 council tax bill.

The councils are writing to all eligible residents to let them know. The extra discount comes from a government hardship fund announced in April.

Anyone who is worried about being able to afford their council tax should get in touch with the councils to find out about the help that’s available to best support them. This can include rescheduling council tax instalments so that they start later or are spread over a longer time and applying for council tax support - the councils’ council tax reduction scheme can help reduce the amount of council tax people have to pay.

Read more about council tax relief and other changes to payments at for South Oxfordshire or for the Vale.