Council 'sorry' for sending out wrong bills
CORNWALL Council has apologised after it sent out council tax and business rate bills which people could not pay.
An error in the council's system meant that bills were sent out with incorrect barcodes on them which meant people were unable to pay at post offices and using PayPoints in local stores.
The council has now apologised and is sending replacement bills to all those affected.
People who pay their bills via direct debit, the council's website or One Stop Shops are not affected by the error.
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One resident said that the "cock-up" showed that the council could not "organise the proverbial in a brewery".
Mrs Bloor from Newquay had gone to her local Paypoint to pay her bill shortly after it arrived through the door, but when the barcode was scanned it came up as an invalid code. The same happened when she went to her local post office to try again.
She said the Post Office claimed that it had happened to several customers and that when they contacted the council about the problem were told the council had been "inundated" with calls.
Mrs Bloor said: "Heads should roll for this fiasco, as everyone's council tax bills will have to be redone, reprinted, and sent through the post again, wasting more of our money due to some idiot's mishandling. Surely this should all have been checked before the bills were sent out?"
Graham Slater from St Agnes Post Office said he was losing business as a result of the error with customers instead sending cheques to the council as they were fed up. He said he had been cut off after trying to call the helpline. "Several of my older customers couldn't be bothered with the hassle of being put on hold and stormed out of the post office."
In a statement Cornwall Council said: "We would like to apologise to anyone who has been inconvenienced as a result of this situation.
"We will be sending out replacement bills as soon as possible. The error will not affect people who have made arrangements to pay by direct debit or who pay their bill at Council One Stop Shops or through our contact centre, website or automated payment line. We recognise that payments are due on April 1 and will take into account any delays caused as a result of this error."
See letters on page 36.