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Council tax demand on flood victims
A RESIDENT, who was evacuated from his flooded Basingstoke home, has spoken of his dismay after he had to protest about paying council tax on temporary accommodation.
Alan Newland left the three-bedroom home he shares with wife Louise and their children, nine-year-old Matthew and seven-year-old Shannon, in Antrim Close, Buckskin, on February 9.
Sewage water starting to seep into the property and Mr Newland took the immediate decision to evacuate, fearing for the safety of his family.
After contacting his insurers, Mr Newland was told to find temporary accommodation for his family, which will be paid for by the insurance company. They moved into a house in Northbrook Crescent, Rooksdown on February 17.
Mr Newland received council tax credit for his Buckskin home from the council, but the 40-year-old was shocked when he was sent a letter asking him to pay council tax on his temporary accommodation.
The letter from Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council stated that he would need to pay £137 a month in council tax for the temporary accommodation – £32 a month more than for his Buckskin home.
The borough council subsequently backtracked on its decision, and Mr Newland received a letter on Monday to say he would not need to pay council tax for three months.
He said: “We have to write back in three months, and they will review it. How many people are going through the same thing? Yes, they are doing something now, but why does it take all this effort?”
The father-of-two still doesn’t know when the family will be able to return to their home, adding: “We have been told that the property now needs to dry out but nobody knows how long it is going to take. People are saying it could be two or three months before the house is even dry.”
Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council chief executive Tony Curtis said: “We understand what flood-affected households are going through, and we are doing everything we can to make things easier at this difficult time.
“We have contacted this resident and assured him that he will not be charged council tax for the time he is forced to live in temporary accommodation.”
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