Labour claims member's disputed council tax bill was 'not owed'

Barnet’s Labour group has defended a councillor embroiled a council tax scandal, claiming the disputed bill was "not owed".

Barnet Borough Council announced earlier today that it has reported the member to Metropolitan Police for a potential breach of the Local Government Finance Act.

The authority believes the member failed to make an appropriate declaration and voted “inappropriately” on the 2014/15 budget at the full council meeting on March 4.

Barnet’s Labour group admitted earlier this week that one of its members was summonsed over an unpaid £1,400 council tax bill.

Section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 bans members from voting on council tax setting, administration and enforcement if their council tax payment “becomes payable and remains unpaid” for two or more months.

But in a statement a Labour spokesman said it was proved the council tax bill "was not owed".

He said: “Barnet Council has referred a matter to the police involving a council tax bill sent to a Labour councillor which we understand has since been withdrawn by the council after it was proved that the monies claimed were not owed.

"It appears that the council acted on the basis of the councillor involved voting in the budget debate at a time when the council had yet to determine that the money was not owed.

“The Labour Party is currently investigating this matter further.  In the meantime, any questions should be referred to the police or Barnet Council, who are in possession of all the facts."

Leader of the council, Councillor Richard Cornelius said he was "disturbed" by the matter and was "disappointed" the member has not revealed their identity.

Comments (4)

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7:47pm Fri 11 Apr 14

Don't Call Me Dave says...

Does Alison Moore really think that this is enough to make the story go away?

If this is merely a dispute about an incorrect charge, why do we still not know the councillor’s identity? The public understand that mistakes can be made all the time, so why the big secret?

And if the council have withdrawn the disputed bill, why would they bother referring the matter to the Police. If there was no money owing, then the councillor was entitled to vote at the meeting.

Someone is being economical with the truth here, and the whiff of a Labour cover up is overwhelming.
Does Alison Moore really think that this is enough to make the story go away? If this is merely a dispute about an incorrect charge, why do we still not know the councillor’s identity? The public understand that mistakes can be made all the time, so why the big secret? And if the council have withdrawn the disputed bill, why would they bother referring the matter to the Police. If there was no money owing, then the councillor was entitled to vote at the meeting. Someone is being economical with the truth here, and the whiff of a Labour cover up is overwhelming. Don't Call Me Dave
  • Score: 0

7:49am Sat 12 Apr 14

Barnet Parker says...

Equally until we know the facts there could be a charge of a politically motivated Council. The Council already has a history of reporting parking and anti-One Barnet campaigners to the police for very slight reasons. Then there was the dubious administration of polling stations leading to claims of queues and constituents not getting to vote in Labour areas at the last General Election. And lets not get started on the kid gloves a certain Totteridge councillor always seems to get treated with.

I guess we'll just have to wait and see but its all speculation at the moment.
Equally until we know the facts there could be a charge of a politically motivated Council. The Council already has a history of reporting parking and anti-One Barnet campaigners to the police for very slight reasons. Then there was the dubious administration of polling stations leading to claims of queues and constituents not getting to vote in Labour areas at the last General Election. And lets not get started on the kid gloves a certain Totteridge councillor always seems to get treated with. I guess we'll just have to wait and see but its all speculation at the moment. Barnet Parker
  • Score: 0

10:09am Sat 12 Apr 14

You don't fool me says...

Nice try CONselfservatives, but once again your shabby tactics have failed. Nearly time to pack your bags boys, don't let the door hit you on the way out In May.
Nice try CONselfservatives, but once again your shabby tactics have failed. Nearly time to pack your bags boys, don't let the door hit you on the way out In May. You don't fool me
  • Score: -1

2:10pm Sat 12 Apr 14

Don't Call Me Dave says...

@ Barnet Parker

Your suggestion of a politically motivated council breaks down when you consider that (a) the officers run the council, not the Conservative councillors and (b) all the officers are a bunch of lefties!

You are right, however, that this is all speculation. But if the councillor is innocent, why are we still being kept in the dark? You would have thought that Labour would have welcomed the opportunity to expose another council ****-up.
@ Barnet Parker Your suggestion of a politically motivated council breaks down when you consider that (a) the officers run the council, not the Conservative councillors and (b) all the officers are a bunch of lefties! You are right, however, that this is all speculation. But if the councillor is innocent, why are we still being kept in the dark? You would have thought that Labour would have welcomed the opportunity to expose another council ****-up. Don't Call Me Dave
  • Score: 0

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