If you have questions after receiving your annual council tax bill - click here for a guide to where you can find more information.

Residents in need urged to seek financial support

Folkestone & Hythe District Council (F&HDC) is encouraging residents to get in touch if they are still facing difficulties paying their council tax as a result of the COVID-19 situation.

Money coins

The council will be taking action to recover outstanding council tax so it is important that residents contact us to avoid this action if they are having difficulties.

Due to the COVID-19 situation, the council suspended all court and bailiff actions, for any unpaid council tax from late March. Legal action to pursue any 2020-21 arrears through the courts which would normally have taken place was also halted.

We can arrange for changes to the way they pay and consider extensions to the time they have to pay but only if we know you need our help.

The council has put together a list of financial support available to residents at folkestone-hythe.gov.uk/financial-support

This list takes you to a benefit and budget calculator which can help work out your personal budget, any entitlement to benefits and how a change can affect your circumstances.  

There are links within the calculator which allow you to apply for any benefits you are eligible for. This is the best way to work out what support you can access.

The council has a welfare team to work with our most vulnerable customers to support them and point them in the direction where additional help may be available. They will look at all cases where financial assistance for council tax has been requested.

Cllr Tim Prater, F&HDC Cabinet Member for Revenues, Benefits, Anti-Fraud and Corruption, said: "We're going to do all we can to help those who are struggling, but we need them to talk to us so we can help.

"If you're finding it difficult to pay your council tax or rent the message is clear - please get in touch. Check out our website and use the calculator to see what support we can offer.

If you are unable to go online and complete the calculator or any of the other financial support forms online you should contact customer services on 01303 853555. Please be patient as we are experiencing a high volume of calls.

In addition if you have been assessed as eligible for Universal Credit, and this includes a housing element to help with your rent, or Housing Benefit, additional support may be available via the discretionary housing payment scheme. To apply for this please go to folkestone-hythe.gov.uk/financial-support and click on the Discretionary Housing Payment link. 

For help with utility bills, credit cards, loans or any other debts please contact your provider.

To contact F&HDC about other matters please go online at folkestone-hythe.gov.uk or alternatively call 01303 853000 as usual. The council's Civic Centre remains closed to visitors.

Date published: 26 August 2020

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