Council Tax team shortlisted for national awards

IRRV Performance AwardsWe've been nominated for two national awards for the support we provide to our residents when collecting Council Tax.

The Council has been shortlisted in the ‘Excellence in Partnership Working’ and ‘Excellence in Social Inclusion’ categories of the Institute of Revenues, Rating and Valuation (IRRV) Performance Awards 2021. The IRRV is a prestigious national body which promotes best practice in the local taxation, benefits and valuation industries.

When residents miss a Council Tax payment, it can be an early indication that something is wrong. Last year, we introduced a new ‘TellJO’ system to help identify people who could be facing financial difficulties, poor health or other social problems. The TellJO system enables us to automatically send out email and text messages to ask if the resident is OK and find out what difficulties they might be facing. By identifying people who are at risk early, we can signpost them to support and help them to improve their circumstances.

The TellJO system has been a huge success, helping over 75% of respondents to request new payment arrangements and providing 46% with immediate debt advice. The support provided by the service has enabled us to help residents with a range of complex issues, and this has been recognised by the IRRV with a nomination for the ‘Excellence in Social Inclusion Award’.

In 2020, we started working with Dukes Bailiffs Ltd to improve the support available to people who are facing social and financial issues. The collaboration has been nominated for the ‘Excellence in Partnership Working’ Award, particularly for the way it has supported people throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. We work with Dukes to help customers find sustainable ways of getting out of debt and identify vulnerable people at an early stage. Dukes work with the local community to provide information about the collection process, signpost people to support, and encourage them to seek help before an enforcement visit is needed and additional fees apply.

The winners will be announced at the IRRV Annual Conference on Thursday 7 October 2021.

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