7,500 Doncaster youngsters in fear of bailiffs’ visit

Doncaster's  Civic Offices.
Doncaster's Civic Offices.

More than 7,500 children in Doncaster are in families at risk of a visit from bailiffs over council tax debt.

A new report by The Children’s Society has revealed the extent of council tax debt in Doncaster – with more than 7,671 children in the town living in 4,478 families who have fallen behind with their bills.

And the report says that in the 2013/14 financial year, Doncaster Council made a total of 9,035 referrals to bailiffs over council tax debt.

The council said it could not say how many of those referrals had been made for families with children.

However, The Children’s Society said, no matter the figure, no child in Doncaster should have to face feeling frightened or worried because bailiffs have visited their home.

As a result, the national charity is calling on local authorities to stop sending bailiffs round to families with children.

Matthew Reed, society chief executive, said: “Bailiffs should simply not be sent round to families with children.

“Councils should give struggling residents a chance to negotiate affordable repayments, and make sure every family in trouble is offered independent debt advice.”

The new data on council tax data comes after Doncaster council approved a 1.95 per cent increase in council tax for the next two financial years.

Steve Mawson, assistant director of finance and corporate services said: “Increases in council tax have been kept to a minimum.

“Where people still struggle to pay their council tax, we offer a lot of support including negotiating different payment plans.”