‘They should be setting an example’: Councillors slammed for not paying council tax on time

View - AVDC offices, The Gateway, Aylesbury
View - AVDC offices, The Gateway, Aylesbury

Four councillors who spend their time thinking of ways to spend taxpayers’ money have failed to make council tax payments on time, The Bucks Herald can reveal.

In the past two financial years, 13 reminders have been sent to four district councillors for unpaid bills, a Freedom of Information request to Aylesbury Vale District Council has revealed.

The council would not name those affected for data protection reasons, but Councillor Phil Yerby, Conservative, admitted he had received reminders.

He said: “I run a small business, therefore I don’t have a fixed income, which means I pay my council tax in chunks when I have it. I am very transparent about this.”

Mr Yerby said he could not remember when or how much tax he failed to pay on time.

In one case, a councillor was sent a final reminder for an unpaid £413 bill. The TaxPayers’ Alliance attacked the credibility of those involved.

Jonathan Isaby, TaxPayers’ Alliance political director, said people would be ‘appalled’ by the revelations, but stopped short of calling for resignations.

He said: “Those councillors not paying their dues can hardly remain credible representatives of the vast majority who are.

“These councillors should be setting an example and paying on time, not creating more work and costing taxpayers’ even more money by causing the need for reminder notices to be sent out.”

Conservative council leader, Councillor John Cartwright, said each case should be judged on its circumstances. He said: “They are responsible people and are in a somewhat privileged position to be able to make decisions, but at the same time they’re still human beings.”

Liberal Democrat leader, Councillor Steven Lambert, said anyone in debt should seek advice. He said: “Councillors face the same pressures on their lives as other people.”

Councillor Michael Beall, Labour, said: “We should be setting an example, but if there are people having problems that’s another side of the coin.”