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Your Council Tax 2014/15 - ALL THE INFORMATION YOU NEED FOR THE COMING YEAR


Contents 3 |

What is Council Tax and who pays it?

4 |

How we set your Council Tax

6 |

Where your money goes

8 |

Your Council Tax by Parish or Town 2014 - 15

10 |

Council Tax banding FAQs

11 |

How to pay your Council Tax

12 |

Discounts & Exemptions

14 |

Council Tax Reduction

15 |

Regeneration in North Nottinghamshire

17| 18|

Coming soon... our new website

19|

Online Benefits Claims

20|

Getting help and contacting us

What digital services can I access?

This year’s cover was designed by children from Thrumpton Primary School, Retford, who were asked to draw a picture which illustrated the services that the Council and it’s partners provide. Winner: Holly Smith (9); Runners-up: Phoebe Jackson (10), Sky Fountain (9), Daniel Preston (9) and Damon Gregory (9). The school’s competition has been running for the last three years with previous entries coming from Langold and Ryton Park Primary Schools.

www.bassetlaw.gov.uk


What is Council Tax and who pays it? The Police, fire and local services provided by County and District councils are paid for by Council Tax and Government grants, and in some cases, through charges for services.

on unoccupied and unfurnished dwellings. Discounts on empty property changed from 1st April 2013 and these are explained in more detail on page 12.

Council Tax is an annual charge based on property values and, in this area, is collected by Bassetlaw District Council on behalf of all four organisations.

Another change in 2013 was a new discount scheme for people on low incomes. Over 10,200 Bassetlaw households qualified for Council Tax reduction in its first year, but everyone pays a contribution to their Council Tax if they are working-age. This was part of Government Welfare Reforms. More information about Council Tax Reduction is on page 14.

The Council identifies who is liable to pay Council Tax and sends out a bill every year in March. This can be paid over 10 or 12 instalments. Council Tax payment is the responsibility of owner-occupiers or, if rented, council tenants, private tenants and tenants of housing associations. Council Tax is also due

The amount of Council Tax for each dwelling depends on the valuation band a property has been placed in by the Government’s Valuation Office Agency. This is explained more on page 10.

Where your money is spent? Based on a Band A property, the following table shows how much of your Council Tax goes to each authority.

Band A comparison

Last year 2013/14

This year 2014/15

The % increase

Nottinghamshire County Council

£795.45

£811.28

1.99%

Bassetlaw District Council

£101.88

£103.41

1.50%

Notts Police

£113.10

£115.32

1.96%

Notts Fire and Rescue Service

£46.46

£47.37

1.96%

Total

£1,056.89

£1,077.38

1.94%

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How we set your Council Tax How Bassetlaw District Council sets your Council Tax We first work out the Council’s budget requirement for 2014/15 (how much we need to run the services that Bassetlaw District Council provides)

Services provided by Gross Net Bassetlaw District Council Expenditure Expenditure £ £ Economic Regeneration 1,923,200 1,285,500 Planning & Building Control 2,514,800 1,117,200 Community Prosperity 4,438,000 2,402,700 Chief Executive Department 1,316,700 204,600 Corporate Management 1,017,400 674,800 Environment 7,743,500 4,189,400 Finance and Property 5,214,100 383,900 Housing 1,808,900 1,082,000 Leisure 3,491,900 2,949,700 Policy & Community Engagement 1,804,700 1,278,900 Revenues and Customer Services 34,044,800 839,300 Support Services 2,841,300 43,800 SERVICE TOTAL 63,721,300 14,049,100 Other budgets 4,591,000 1,102,900 Transfer to (+) from (-) reserves 0 -153,600 BUDGET REQUIREMENT 68,312,300 14,998,400

Net Expenditure 2013/14 £ 1,153,400 1,443,400 2,596,800 224,700 785,100 4,126,800 791,800 1,278,900 2,981,900 1,160,600 867,900 143,700 14,958,200 1,001,700 0 15,959,900

How the £14,998 million links to the Council Tax charge for 2014/15 We deduct any other grants we receive from the £14,998 million net budget requirement above to arrive at a net amount we need to raise from Council Tax for the district services. Council Tax Band D Household £ £ Budget requirement for Bassetlaw DC 14,998,400 470.26 Take off Revenue Support Grant -4,094,400 -128.38 Take off Retained Business Rates -3,341,500 -104.77 Take off New Homes Bonus Grant -1,246,100 -39.07 Take off Capital Grants received -300,000 -9.41 Take off Parish Councils and Charter Trustees -906,000 -28.41 Take off Localism Act Grants -16,400 -0.51 Take off New Burdens (Council Tax Benefit Set-up Grant) -86,000 -2.70 Take off Collection Fund surplus -60,900 -1.91 Bassetlaw DC’s “bottom line” (rounded) 4,947,100 155.11

We then ask Notts County Council, the Police Authority, the Fire Service and the 49 parish councils in the district, what their budget requirements are for 2014/15 and add these together to arrive at a total we need to collect through Council Tax. (Information about these services and their charges can be found on their websites), please see the links on page 7.

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www.bassetlaw.gov.uk


Council Tax Requirement

Bassetlaw District Council Total Parish requirement (49 precepts) Nottinghamshire County Council Nottinghamshire Police Authority Combined Fire Authority Overall Council Tax requirement 2014/15

Total Required £ 4,947,100 906,000 38,812,252 5,516,996 2,266,057 52,448,405

Shown as Band D Household £ 155.11 28.41 1,216.92 172.98 71.05 1,644.47

We divide the total requirement by the total number of chargeable dwellings due to pay, (shown as average band D dwellings). This is known as the tax base and for Bassetlaw, this was approved at 31,893.84 Band D dwellings. This tells us the charge for an average band D property from which we work out the charge for other bands (see the % charges for other bands on page 10) Example £52,448,405 divided by 31,893.84 = £1,644.47 charge for band D property

What are the significant changes? Our planned expenditure for last year 2013/14 was £15,960 million. Significant changes are as shown in the table below

Reduced employee costs (inc voluntary redundancies, deletion of vacant posts, changes to NI) Increased pension including auto-enrolment Cost of implementing Living Wage Economic climate effect on income Efficiency savings Decreased interest and borrowing costs Increased Council Tax income Payroll Inflation Sub total This gives a total of £14.998 million for 2014/15

£’ 000

-279.00 52.00 25.00 72.00 -523.00 -206.00 -147.00 44.00 -962.00

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Where your money goes Where each £100 of your Council Tax goes (last year’s comparison is in brackets) Nottinghamshire Fire Service 4.40% (£4.40)

4.4% 10.7%

Nottinghamshire Police 10.70% (£10.70)

9.6%

Bassetlaw District Council 9.60% (£9.64)

75.3%

Nottinghamshire County Council 75.30% (£75.26) The figures exclude parish charges.

Who does what? Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner t: 0300 300 9999 Ext 801 2005 Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner: ● is elected to represent the public and hold the police to account ● sets the budget alongside local police and crime priorities ● sets the amount of council tax paid towards policing ● publishes a five-year plan to meet local objectives ● puts the need of victims first ● consults local people, ensuring action is taken in response ● appoints – and if necessary dismisses – the Chief Constable ● works with partner agencies to tackle crime and re-offending ● ensures resources are available to balance local and national threats to public safety ● ensures value for money.

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www.bassetlaw.gov.uk

Nottinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service t: 0115 967 0880 Nottinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service: ●

works with people to prevent fires and accidents happening, with a particular focus on those who are high risk works with businesses to help them keep their staff, customers and property safe from fire provides an emergency fire and rescue service using the best equipment possible plans the frontline response it will deliver in the event of major incidents recruits, trains and develops its staff to a high standard and keeps them safe at work manages its business and resources well, in order to provide a value-for-money service


Nottinghamshire County Council t: 0300 500 80 80

Bassetlaw District Council t: 01909 533533

Bassetlaw District Council Nottinghamshire County Council The Council provides a wide range of services, Bassetlaw District Council provides important including: local services to its citizens, residents,businesses, charities and voluntary groups. Services include: ● Adult social care and day centres ● Community Safety, CCTV, tackling anti social ● County parks and libraries behaviour ● Fostering and adoption ● Collection of household and trade waste, ● Children’s centres recycling and street sweeping ● Homecare and extra care for older people ● Leisure, parks and sports centres ● Landscaped public areas and cycleways ● Sheltered wardens schemes for the elderly ● Bridleways, footpaths and rights of way ● Planning and development control, licensing ● Public transport and pocket park and rides and running local and national elections ● Register offices ● Car parks, tourism and markets ● Road maintenance, gritting and street lighting ● Grants to support voluntary sector services eg ● Household waste and recycling centres and CAB refuse disposal ● Secondary and primary schools and school ● Economic regeneration, attracting businesses crossing patrol and jobs ● The arts ● Environmental health, public health, food hygiene and pest control ● Public health ● Customer service centres ● Housing needs, Housing Benefit and Council Tax discounts. ● Trading standards ● Youth clubs and activities Detailed Council Tax information for Nottinghamshire Police & Crime Commissioner is available at: Notts PCC Website

Detailed Council Tax information for Nottinghamshire Fire & Rescue service is available at www.notts-fire.gov.uk/counciltax.asp e: enquiries@notts-fire.gov.uk Detailed Council Tax information for Nottinghamshire County Council is available at www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/counciltax To request a paper copy, please telephone 0300 500 80 80 or email enquiries@nottsscc.gov.uk

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www.bassetlaw.gov.uk

Your Council Tax by Pa

Parish/Town

The charges shown opposite are based on TWO adult residents. If only ONE resident, a 25% discount applies. (Council Taxes shown here include Bassetlaw DC, Nottinghamshire Police, Combined Fire Authority and Parish)

If you live in parts of the Bassetlaw District where no parish levy applies, the last but one line of the table relates to you. This covers residents in Askham; Bole; Carburton; Clumber and Hardwick; Haughton; Scaftworth; Wallingwells; West Burton

Babworth Barnby Moor Beckingham-cum-Saundby Blyth Bothamsall Carlton in Lindrick Clarborough & Welham Clayworth Cuckney Dunham on Trent with Ragnall, Fledborough and Darlton East Drayton East Markham East Retford Charter Trustees Elkesley Everton Gamston with West Drayton & Eaton Gringley-on-the Hill Harworth & Bircotes Hayton Headon-cum-Upton with Grove & Stokeham Hodsock Holbeck & Welbeck Laneham Lound Markham Clinton Mattersey Misson Misterton Nether Langwith Normanton-on-Trent with Marnham North Leverton with Habblesthorpe North and South Wheatley Norton Rampton Ranskill Rhodesia Scrooby Shireoaks South Leverton Sturton-le-Steeple Styrrup with Oldcotes Sutton Torworth Treswell-with-Cottam Tuxford Walkeringham West Stockwith Wiseton Worksop Charter Trustees All other parts of Bassetlaw 2014/15 Last year 2013/14

A ÂŁ 1,091.61 1,095.51 1,104.23 1,113.93 1,084.70 1,140.71 1,103.87 1,105.91 1,134.21 1,108.02 1,096.91 1,102.80 1,078.33 1,115.35 1,099.91 1,094.70 1,119.97 1,152.87 1,106.15 1,093.34 1,120.21 1,095.96 1,102.39 1,094.88 1,100.39 1,098.19 1,101.44 1,127.37 1,115.23 1,092.61 1,116.16 1,126.87 1,090.55 1,091.52 1,100.40 1,093.69 1,100.54 1,095.77 1,105.09 1,126.71 1,116.18 1,105.91 1,111.16 1,089.23 1,158.61 1,111.19 1,114.04 1,086.62 1,077.53 1,077.38 1,056.89

B ÂŁ 1,273.54 1,278.09 1,288.25 1,299.58 1,265.47 1,330.82 1,287.84 1,290.21 1,323.24 1,292.68 1,279.71 1,286.59 1,258.04 1,301.23 1,283.21 1,277.14 1,306.62 1,345.00 1,290.50 1,275.55 1,306.89 1,278.61 1,286.10 1,277.35 1,283.78 1,281.21 1,285.00 1,315.25 1,301.08 1,274.70 1,302.17 1,314.66 1,272.29 1,273.43 1,283.79 1,275.95 1,283.95 1,278.39 1,289.26 1,314.49 1,302.20 1,290.21 1,296.34 1,270.76 1,351.69 1,296.38 1,299.70 1,267.71 1,257.11 1,256.93 1,233.04


arish & Town 2014-15

01909 533 533 Amount of Precept

C £ 1,455.49 1,460.69 1,472.31 1,485.25 1,446.27 1,520.95 1,471.83 1,474.55 1,512.29 1,477.36 1,462.55 1,470.40 1,437.78 1,487.14 1,466.55 1,459.60 1,493.30 1,537.16 1,474.87 1,457.79 1,493.61 1,461.28 1,469.85 1,459.84 1,467.19 1,464.26 1,468.59 1,503.16 1,486.97 1,456.82 1,488.22 1,502.49 1,454.07 1,455.36 1,467.20 1,458.25 1,467.39 1,461.03 1,473.46 1,502.29 1,488.24 1,474.55 1,481.55 1,452.31 1,544.81 1,481.59 1,485.39 1,448.83 1,436.71 1,436.51 1,409.19

D £ 1,637.41 1,643.26 1,656.33 1,670.89 1,627.04 1,711.06 1,655.80 1,658.85 1,701.31 1,662.02 1,645.35 1,654.19 1,617.49 1,673.02 1,649.85 1,642.04 1,679.95 1,729.29 1,659.22 1,640.00 1,680.30 1,643.93 1,653.57 1,642.31 1,650.58 1,647.28 1,652.15 1,691.04 1,672.83 1,638.91 1,674.23 1,690.29 1,635.81 1,637.27 1,650.59 1,640.52 1,650.80 1,643.65 1,657.63 1,690.06 1,674.26 1,658.85 1,666.73 1,633.84 1,737.90 1,666.78 1,671.05 1,629.92 1,616.29 1,616.06 1,585.34

E £ 2,001.28 2,008.43 2,024.41 2,042.20 1,988.61 2,091.30 2,023.76 2,027.49 2,079.38 2,031.36 2,010.99 2,021.79 1,976.94 2,044.81 2,016.49 2,006.94 2,053.28 2,113.58 2,027.94 2,004.45 2,053.71 2,009.25 2,021.04 2,007.27 2,017.38 2,013.35 2,019.30 2,066.83 2,044.58 2,003.12 2,046.29 2,065.92 1,999.33 2,001.11 2,017.39 2,005.09 2,017.65 2,008.91 2,026.00 2,065.63 2,046.32 2,027.49 2,037.12 1,996.92 2,124.11 2,037.18 2,042.40 1,992.13 1,975.47 1,975.19 1,937.64

F £ 2,365.15 2,373.60 2,392.48 2,413.51 2,350.17 2,471.53 2,391.71 2,396.12 2,457.45 2,400.70 2,376.62 2,389.39 2,336.38 2,416.59 2,383.12 2,371.84 2,426.60 2,497.86 2,396.65 2,368.89 2,427.10 2,374.57 2,388.49 2,372.23 2,384.17 2,379.41 2,386.44 2,442.61 2,416.31 2,367.32 2,418.33 2,441.53 2,362.84 2,364.95 2,384.19 2,369.64 2,384.49 2,374.16 2,394.36 2,441.20 2,418.38 2,396.12 2,407.50 2,359.99 2,510.30 2,407.57 2,413.74 2,354.33 2,334.64 2,334.31 2,289.93

G £ 2,729.02 2,738.77 2,760.56 2,784.82 2,711.74 2,851.77 2,759.67 2,764.76 2,835.52 2,770.04 2,742.26 2,756.99 2,695.82 2,788.37 2,749.76 2,736.74 2,799.92 2,882.16 2,765.37 2,733.34 2,800.51 2,739.89 2,755.96 2,737.19 2,750.97 2,745.47 2,753.59 2,818.41 2,788.06 2,731.52 2,790.39 2,817.16 2,726.36 2,728.79 2,750.99 2,734.21 2,751.34 2,739.42 2,762.72 2,816.77 2,790.44 2,764.76 2,777.89 2,723.07 2,896.51 2,777.97 2,785.09 2,716.54 2,693.82 2,693.44 2,642.23

H £ 3,274.82 3,286.52 3,312.66 3,341.78 3,254.08 3,422.12 3,311.60 3,317.70 3,402.62 3,324.04 3,290.70 3,308.38 3,234.98 3,346.04 3,299.70 3,284.08 3,359.90 3,458.58 3,318.44 3,280.00 3,360.60 3,287.86 3,307.14 3,284.62 3,301.16 3,294.56 3,304.30 3,382.08 3,345.66 3,277.82 3,348.46 3,380.58 3,271.62 3,274.54 3,301.18 3,281.04 3,301.60 3,287.30 3,315.26 3,380.12 3,348.52 3,317.70 3,333.46 3,267.68 3,475.80 3,333.56 3,342.10 3,259.84 3,232.58 3,232.12 3,170.68

2014/15 £ 4,711 2,961 18,886 25,635 1,000 148,014 15,000 5,900 6,438 9,488 3,194 17,328 8,924 12,485 11,650 6,283 18,983 199,000

6,637 3,407 33,018 3,438 5,058 4,934 3,140 7,143 9,394 51,000 7,587 4,258 18,878 19,059 926 5,571 16,700 5,000 4,396 12,383 7,832 13,562 13,629 10,741 4,033 2,146 90,261 16,900 6,016 539 2,531

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Parish Levy at Band 'D' £

£

4,026 2,503 17,405 25,745 1,000 88,722 15,000 5,543 6,374 7,738 3,055 16,972 8,771 12,362 11,500 6,210 18,983 199,000 6,588 3,490 25,379 3,043 5,009 3,882 3,140 4,582 9,210 51,000 6,136 4,092 18,000 18,758 960 5,967 16,700 4,150 3,850 11,076 6,754 11,895 12,632 10,587 3,433 2,146 72,481 14,634 4,278 400 2,276

Budget of Harworth Bircotes Town Council Precept Other income Expenditure

21.35 27.20 40.27 54.83 10.98 95.00 39.74 42.79 85.25 45.96 29.29 38.13 1.43 56.96 33.79 25.98 63.89 113.23 43.16 23.94 64.24 27.87 37.51 26.25 34.52 31.22 36.09 74.98 56.77 22.85 58.17 74.23 19.75 21.21 34.53 24.46 34.74 27.59 41.57 74.00 58.20 42.79 50.67 17.78 121.84 50.72 54.99 13.86 0.23

2014/15 2013/14 £ £ 199,000 199,000 109,950 86,026 308,950 285,026


Council Tax banding FAQs Why is my house placed in a particular Council Tax band?

What do others pay in Council Tax compared with band A?

The Government’s Valuation Office Agency (VOA) has placed all homes in our area in one of eight broad valuation bands. The valuation band is based on the market value of the dwelling in 1991. These values and totals are shown in the table below, for 2014/15. No. of homes

Generally, the higher the band, the higher the Council Tax payable. The relationship to Band A for 2014/15 is shown in the diagram below.

Band A Up to £40,000

26,232

Band B £40,001 to £52,000

7,493

B x

C x

11 6

11 3

D x

E x

11 2 15 6

F x

G x

H x

21 6

21 2

3

£1,077.38

The fractions shown above are set by the Government and do not change from year to year. Can I appeal against my Council Tax band?

Band C £52,001 to £68,000

6,066

Band D £68,001 to £88,000

5,860

Band E £88,001 to £120,000

2,968

Band F £120,001 to £160,000

1,373

Band G £160,001 to £320,000

687

Band H Over £320,000

55

Total number of dwellings (as at November 2013) (as at November 2012)

50,734 50,520

The basis for your Council Tax band is the market value range at 1991 prices. These ranges are fixed by the Government and have not changed since the start of Council Tax in 1993. Bassetlaw District Council is not responsible for the valuations as this is done by the VOA.

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A £

www.bassetlaw.gov.uk

Existing occupiers may need to show that there has been a material change to the dwelling or in the physical state of the locality. New occupiers have six months from moving in to lodge an appeal. Appeals are to the VOA. Valuation Office Agency, Listing Officer, Council Tax East, Ground Floor, Ferrers House Castle Meadow Road, Nottingham, NG2 1AB t: 0300 501 501 cteast@voa.gsi.gov.uk www.voa.gov.uk

Making an appeal does not allow you to stop payment. If an appeal is successful, you will be entitled to a refund of any overpayment.

Please note - You do not need to employ an agent to act on your behalf. Agents often charge high fees based on a percentage of any refund you may receive as a result of a successful banding appeal.


How to pay your Council Tax Direct Debit

Internet

Direct Debit offers you a choice of dates each month, plus 10 or 12 months options or weekly every Friday. You can sign up for Direct Debit over the telephone on 01909 533234 or return a completed instruction by post. You will also soon be able to set up a Direct Debit online. Over 31,000 households in Bassetlaw now use Direct Debit for Council Tax payment.

Pay by Debit or Credit Card through www. bassetlaw.gov.uk . Click the link to online payments.

Post Office Bill payers can pay at any UK Post Office (free of charge) by using the barcode on your bill. Take the bill and your payment to the Post Office who will issue you with a receipt. Cheques should be made payable to “Post Office Ltd”. Pay Point You can pay your Council Tax (free of charge) at any PayPoint outlet. Simply hand over your bill and cash payment and you will be given a receipt.

Spread your payments PAY YOUR COUNCIL TAX BY DIRECT DEBIT AND SPREAD THE COST OVER 10 OR 12 MONTHS

Your Council Tax bill can be spread over interest-free monthly instalments up to March, if you pay by Direct Debit. Your Council Tax payments are normally due on the first of the month. However, if you sign up to Direct Debit you can choose from five payment dates each month to suit you. You can even set up a weekly Direct Debit for every Friday. If you would like to pay by Direct Debit, please complete the form overleaf or contact our Council Tax Team on 01909 533 234 and one of our advisors will be happy to set up a Direct Debit for you.

Our monthly Direct Debit dates are:

Direct Debit Dates S

M

T W T

1 2 6 7 8 9 13 14 15 16 20 21 22 23 27 28 29 30

F

S

3 4 5 10 11 12 17 18 19 24 25 26 31

24 hour telephone payment Pay by Direct Debit or Credit Card. Please telephone 01777 713864 for this automated line and have your details ready. This line operates using voice recognition answers or easy push button. By Post Send your cheque (not cash) to Bassetlaw District Council, Queen’s Buildings, Potter Street, Worksop, S80 2AH. Cheques should be made payable to Bassetlaw District Council. Always put your bill reference or name and address on the back of your cheque and state “CTAX”. Other ways to pay include payment in person at Council offices where we take cheque and credit card payments only.

Council Tax can be paid over 12 or 10 monthly instalments, due from April 2014. Instalment plans paid over 12 months run from April to March and 10 month plans run from April to January. Please contact the Council Tax Helpline number if you are not already on a 12 month instalment plan and would like to change your plan. We also offer a weekly payment plan by Direct Debit, please contact the Council Tax Helpline on (01909) 533234 for more details. Further details can also be found on the Council’s website at www.bassetlaw.gov.uk . Where an instalment payment is not paid by the due date, a reminder may be issued. This could escalate quickly into a summons. Government rules limit the number of times a missing payment can be caught up before the whole bill becomes payable at once. For more information about what happens if you don’t pay visit the Council Tax pages at www.bassetlaw.gov.uk . If you have difficulty making payment, please contact us as soon as possible.

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Discounts & Exemptions Not everyone has to pay the full Council Tax set out on pages 8 & 9. There are a number of ways that the bill can be reduced, these are detailed below. Single occupier discount A household with one adult occupier (over the age 18 yrs) is entitled to a 25% discount. This is not a means tested discount, it is given where there is only one adult resident. The Council will check discount claims with third party records to make sure that they are accurate. The Council may share personal information you have supplied for Council Tax with other council departments, the Police and other public bodies if this relates to the prevention of crime or fraud or the recovery of debt. Other discounts Even where there are two or more adults, you could still get the 25% discount. For example, in a two adult household, one of the adults may not count for Council Tax if he or she is exempt. Exempt residents include people who are: ● ●

● ●

Full time students and apprentices 18 or 19 year olds where Child Benefit is in payment Full time carers Severely mentally impaired, which could include severe dementia sufferers

Family annexe discount From 1st April 2014 a 50% discount will be available for people who live in an annexe providing it forms part of one single property with another dwelling and if they are related to the residents in the main dwelling. There are certain categories of family members who may qualify for this discount. This discount will also apply for people living in dwellings with annexes which are unoccupied provided they are using those annexes as part of their main residence.

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www.bassetlaw.gov.uk

Exempt dwellings Some unoccupied dwellings are exempt from payment, for example dwellings where the resident has died are exempt until probate has been granted and dwellings left unoccupied because the resident has moved into a care home. Some occupied dwellings can also be exempt from payment and these include dwellings that are occupied only by students and dwellings occupied only by residents who are severely mentally impaired. Empty dwelling discounts The table on the opposite page shows the empty dwelling discounts that apply when a dwelling becomes unoccupied. Please note – The above discounts apply to the property; a change in ownership does not trigger a fresh period of entitlement to the above discounts. The discounts apply from the date on which the dwelling becomes empty. Dwellings which are furnished but unoccupied are known as ‘second homes’ , they are billed at the full rate; there is no discount for these dwellings. People with disabilities If your household includes a person with a disability, you may get an adjustment to your Council Tax valuation band. This applies where the dwelling has a room or extra kitchen or extra bathroom to help meet the needs of a disabled person. If there is extra space indoors to allow the use of a wheelchair this may also mean that a reduction is granted. The reduction is granted by charging Council Tax based on the next lowest band. Even if your household is in Band A, you can still apply for this reduction.


Empty Dwelling Discounts What happens after the discount period has expired?

Requirements for discount apply

A further discount may apply if the dwelling remains empty. See below.

Dwelling must be unoccupied and unfurnished.

Up to 5 months. This period follows on from the 1 month 100% discount period.

Up to 5 months. This period follows on from the 1 month 100% discount period.

Dwelling must be unoccupied and unfurnished. No further discount is given after 6 months.

0%

No discount is given after the above 6 month period.

No discount is given after the above 6 month period.

Dwelling must be unoccupied and unfurnished

75%

Up to 12 months.

No further discount applies and a full charge is due.

The dwelling must be unoccupied, unfurnished and in need of or undergoing major repair works to make it habitable.

Amount of discount

How long does the discount/premium apply for?

100%

Up to 1 month.

25%

Empty dwelling premium charge A 50% additional charge is added to the Council Tax bill on dwellings when they have been empty for two years. More information about the full range of discounts and empty/occupied dwelling exemptions are shown on the Council Tax pages at www.bassetlaw.gov.uk or contact us on our helpline number – (01909) 533324.

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Council Tax Reduction If you are on a low income and feel you will be unable to meet the monthly payments of your Council Tax you can apply, to the Council for a Council Tax Reduction assessment. This is very similar to the old Council Tax Benefit which was abolished from April 2013 by the Government’s Welfare Reform changes.

We offer a free speedy 48 hour claim service if the form is fully completed and the relevant evidence of identity, income, savings etc is with the claim and you can come into the Worksop or Retford One-Stop-Shop where it can be checked and verified by a Benefits Officer.

The new Reduction is a discount but it is still means-tested, that is we look at your weekly or monthly income, savings, household details etc to assess whether you are eligible under the local scheme.

Don’t forget to tell us about changes.

A full copy of the Council’s Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme is available on our website if you click on the Benefits/Council Tax Reduction pages. From 1st April 2013, Council Tax rebate for people on low incomes was replaced with a new discount. All Councils must have in place a new scheme to award discount to people based on the financial need of the household. There is also an entitlement checker on our website so you can work out if you may be entitled. From April 2014, you will also be able to claim Council Tax Reduction online. The Government has made further cuts to the grant available for Council Tax Reduction, and as a result the most that we can award working age claimants is 90%. Pensioners and working age vulnerable households, such as severely disabled residents, can still get up to 100% as they are protected from the Government Reforms related to Council Tax Schemes. However, if you have over £16,000 in savings or other assets (excluding your home), no discount of this type can be awarded. If you don’t want to claim online or do not have access to the internet at home, please give us a call and we will be able to advise you. Alternatively, we can send you a paper application form to fill in.

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Reduction scheme claimants must tell us about changes to their circumstances. If you think someone is committing benefit fraud, ring us on 0800 328 6340. You don’t have to say who you are, but give as much information as you can. We understand that times are difficult for some at the moment, particularly if you are unemployed. If your circumstances are not improving and you are suffering exceptional difficulties in paying your Council Tax, or you have received a reminder, please do not ignore this, contact our support team on 01909 533710 who may be able to help you further.

Changes to Council Tax Benefit The new Council Tax Reduction Scheme 2014/15

Reduc t

ion


Regeneration North Nottinghamshire

The economic regeneration of our District is a high priority for the Council and we are working on several fronts to improve the size of our business base, develop sites for business investment, have a skilled workforce and attract higher value jobs and visitors. Increasing the business base In simple terms, we need more businesses to establish, move in and grow. We are, via our ‘Invest in North Nottinghamshire’ project working with leading local businesses to exploit the assets we have- such as our connectivity through transport links, our beautiful countryside- nicely described by someone as having ‘big skies’ and our rich landscape of stories, ranging from Pilgrim Fathers Origins, Robin Hood, the history of the Dukeries and our unique Industrial Heritage. We strongly believe that we can place the district more prominently on the economic map of this country. If you are interested in starting your own business we offer a suite of measures to help.

• We have fully trained and experienced business advisors who can show individuals about business planning, marketing, what licenses are required, book keeping and how to access finance. • We also offer a small grant scheme to assist new businesses in their formative stages. We have also harnessed the skills and experience of the local business community who share their experiences and offer guidance to new start businesses at our Enterprise Club which meets on the first Thursday of each month at Retford Enterprise Centre from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. These local businesses are also mentors to assist in the growth of the new business. We also work closely with a range of business networks where new contacts can be made, informal support of like-minded people can be gained and topical business issues discussed. Added to this, aimed at both new- start and existing businesses, we deliver seminars on subjects such as marketing, social media, how to get money from banks, innovation and skills.

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Regeneration Skills Whilst the education and training industry is outside of our direct control, we pride ourselves in working closely with partners such as the Local Enterprise Partnerships of Sheffield City region and D2N2. Here we have a proactive approach using the Skills Made Easy programme of directly talking to employers to see what skills their workers need, then finding the right people to deliver it- thus cutting down on time, paperwork and of course finding the right person for the job.

Higher value jobs North Nottinghamshire for a long time has relied on relatively low skilled manufacturing, which in turn leads to lower than average levels of pay. To help address this imbalance we have a long term strategy to attract, develop and grow businesses where the profits are higher, the skills required are more intense and of course the reward in the pay packet better. To this end we pro-actively encourage more office based businesses, creative industries and innovative activities. We have a full Enterprise Centre in Retford, an innovation Centre at Shireoaks (The Turbine) which is run by the County Council in partnership with BDC plus a Creative Village in Worksop which has been so successful that, within a year of opening we are at an advanced stage in planning to expand. We are also holding Innovation Workshops to enable new and existing businesses to expand, diversify their product range, look at new markets and improve processes.

Rural and tourism Of course, the vast majority of our land is rural in nature and was nicely described as one visitor as ‘having big skies’. Whilst this aspect is pleasing on the eye, a modern economy requires these villages and hamlets to be more sustainable in terms of jobs and services. Transport is of course an issue as is the cost of oil-since most rural homes are not connected to the gas network. Again our partnering approach helps address some of these issues and our partners RCAN (Rural communities Action Nottinghamshire www.rcan.org.uk/home. php offer a Wheels to Work programme aimed at young people plus a bulk oil scheme where oil is bought in bulk and the discounts shared. We have successfully operated a Business support and grant scheme (Leader programme) where we obtained over £1.4 million to support rural businesses and are at an advanced stage in securing more funding for the next programme. We also recognise that tourism can offer a further boost to the economy by attracting more visitors to our towns and villages and will be focussing on the birthplace of the Pilgrim Fathers, the unique stories and legends (including Robin Hood) which abound in Bassetlaw and will promote some of the unique industrial heritage assets which helped shape our district over the centuries. Bassetlaw is a unique place, and probably one of the countries’ best guarded secrets and we are working hard to change that. For further information please contact Economic.regeneration@bassetlaw.gov.uk 01909 533223

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Coming soon... our new website Bassetlaw District Council is about to launch a brand new website that will make it even easier for residents and businesses in the district to access our services. You will still be able to find lots of helpful information about all our services, but from early summer 2014, you will also be able to access seven of the most popular council services via our new website, making them just as convenient to use as other everyday online services like shopping, banking or renewing your car insurance. This means that you no longer have to come into the Council offices, send us paper copies of information, or wait for the Council to get back to you as all your details will be stored securely online and are easily accessible and updateable every time you request a service. These new digital services have also been designed to be used from any device to suit you, whether it is a PC, Smartphone or Tablet, from any location and at any time of the day or night.

We will be producing guides and films to help you through the new process, however, all our services will still be available by phone or by calling into our offices if you prefer.

Bassetlaw Account

SAFE AND SECURE ACCESS TO YOUR DETAILS 24/7 Once the new website is launched, you will be able to register for a secure online account and given an activation code so that only you can access the information we hold about you. Once this process is complete and you have confirmed all your details this information will be stored securely and used to help you access all our digital services without the need for you to input the same details every time you want to contact us.

This will also allow you to view letters sent by the Council, view your accounts and make payments, as well as check progress updates on services your have requested or applications you have made. In short, the full history of your dealings and transactions with the Council will be available anytime day or night, from the comfort of your own home or anywhere you can access the Internet. On the next page are just some of the services that you can access once you have registered.

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What digital services can I access? Change to Your Circumstances

Make A Benefit Claim

Waste Services

Direct Debit Setup

Comments & Complaints

MOTs Online

When our new website launches in early summer 2014, you can register for a secure online account which will give you access to the following online services from Bassetlaw District Council. In time we will be able to offer even more digital services, but for now, here are the seven most popular.

Changes To Your Circumstances

Make A Benefit Claim

Let us know of any changes to your circumstances without the need to bring in lots of different identification documents.

Make a Benefit Claim and submit your evidence and ID digitally. You can also receive updates, check payments and view your details.

Book a Bulky Waste Collection

Refuse Collections

Order and pay for a pickup of bulky waste like old sofas, fridges and freezers, or even clinical waste, at your convenience.

Tell us if your bin has been missed on your regular collection day and order a replacement if your bin has been lost or damaged.

Set up a Direct Debit

Comments & Complaints

Book an MOT Test

Quickly and conveniently set up or change your Council Tax direct debits.

Provide us with feedback on how we can improve things. We will then keep you updated via your account, email, text, or even social media.

Book and pay for an MOT test, view and reserve appointments, and even register for annual reminders so that you don’t forget next year.

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Online Benefit claims As part of the new website, you will be able to make a claim for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction online without having to visit our offices in Worksop and Retford. We will still need the following information but by offering this digital service, you can complete, update or check the progress of your claim from home or wherever you can access the internet, and a time that suits you. What you will need to claim online We need the following information to work out what benefit you are entitled to: •

Where you live and any housing costs

Who lives with you

What income and savings you have

Any money you pay out such as child care costs

If you or anybody who lives with you has any disabilities

Please make sure that you have all the information and documents, including proof of your identity (and your partner’s if you have one). You may need these to hand before you make a claim, but we will tell you what evidence or documents we need to see. In most cases we will be able to accept copies or digital images of these. What happens after you have made a claim? Once you have completed the claim, in most cases you will be able to provide any further information we need by taking a photo of it and uploading it as part of the claim. Once we have verified that we have all the information we need, we will calculate your entitlement and set up any payments you are eligible for.

Can I get help to do this online? Nearly 80% of people currently claiming benefits have told us they already use the internet, but don’t worry if you need help to make a claim online, there are various ways that we can help you: • We will be producing online guides and helpful films to talk you through the process and make an online claim. • We will have an online chat facility where you can ask for help at any stage of your claim. • When you are online, call one of our advisors on 01909 533710 and they will talk you through it. • Call into our offices and we will be happy to show you how to use this service.

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Contact us

01909 533 533

www.bassetlaw.gov.uk

customer.services@bassetlaw.gov.uk

Text us on 07797 800 573

Find us on Facebook - BassetlawDC

Twitter @BassetlawDC

Visit us at:

Retford One Stop Shop 17B The Square, Retford DN22 6DB

Worksop One Stop Shop Queens Buildings, Potter Street, Worksop S80 2AH

All offices are open: Monday to Friday 8:40am to 5:00pm

If you need any help communicating with us or understanding any of our documents, please contact us on 01909 533 533. We can arrange for a copy of this document in large print, audiotape, Braille or for a Language Line interpreter to help you.


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