Newcastle has become the latest council to sign up to a new protocol to help people struggling with council tax debts.
Newcastle City Council has signed up to the Citizen’s Advice Council Tax Protocol to show it will collect debt in a 'fair and reasonable' manner and offering support and advice to residents.
The council's cabinet member for resources, cllr Veronica Dunn, said: 'We have a duty to collect the tax but where people are in genuine difficulties, we also have a moral duty to help them. We don’t want to make their situation worse, but we do use council tax to fund vital services, so we like to strike a balance.
'I am pleased to sign this Council Tax Protocol. It shows our commitment to clear communication, listening to people in tough times and helping them find a way forward that is good for them and good for the local authority.'
Chief executive of Citizens Advice Newcastle, Shona Alexander, added: 'We know that when local councils and debt advice charities like ours work closely together, debt collection processes can be improved, to really help people struggling with payments. This prevents charges escalating, eases stress and reduces both collection costs and the demand on local public services.'