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Christmas and New Year in Sedgemoor

Sedgemoor District Council will remain open for business as usual during the holiday period on all days except bank holidays.

Rubbish and recycling collections will be two days later from Monday 25th to Friday 29th December, and one day later between Monday 1st to Friday 5th January. A Bank Holiday Collection leaflet from the Somerset Waste Partnership is available here: Icon for pdf Christmas & New Year Refuse Collections 2017/2018 [22.09KB]

Court summons


If you have received a Court summons, the Council will apply to the Magistrates to issue a Liability Order against you.

If you do not pay your Council Tax or Business Rates as requested by the reminders or final notice, and recovery procedures get to this point then the Council will make a complaint to the Magistrates Court, and a summons is issued. This is to tell you when and where the Magistrates hearing will be held. At this hearing they will decide whether to issue a Liability Order against you. It will also tell you the total amount that is owed, the period of time it refers to, and the costs you will have to pay.

It is essential that upon receiving a Court summons you get in contact with the Council.

This is important because it means that you may be able to agree an arrangement with us. This will be honoured and no other action pursued as long as you keep to the arrangement. However, the Court hearing will still go ahead in case the arrangement is broken. It is preferable for you that you let us know your full and individual circumstance before we take decisions as an arrangement that suits both parties is clearly beneficial.

  • If you pay the full amount including the costs before the hearing then your account will be reported as paid prior to the date of the hearing and there will be no Liability Order requested. You need not be present at the court.
  • If you do not pay, the Magistrates will hear the case whether or not you attend the court.
  • If you dispute your liability, please contact us on the number below before the Court hearing.

What is a Liability Order?

A Liability Order is a decision by the Court that means we can take stronger action against you to recover the unpaid Council Tax or Business Rates. It means that you have not paid the full amount of Council Tax or Business Rates shown on the summons. The Magistrates will add £74.00 costs to the outstanding balance, which you will also have to pay to the Council.

Action that may be taken against you at this point regarding Council Tax includes:

  • Request for information which you are obliged to provide including the name and address of your employer.
  • Making an order for Attachment to earnings obliging your employer to make deductions direct from your pay.
  • Making an order for Attachment of certain Benefits
  • Making an order for Attachment of Members Allowances
  • Instructing Enforcement Agents to visit your home and either collect the amount owed or, if this is not possible, removing items which belong to you and selling them to raise the money.
  • Making an application for a charging order.
  • Applying for you bankruptcy or liquidation if a limited company.
  • Applying to the Magistrates for your committal to prison.

Once you have got to this stage of recovery a Liability Order will usually be issued. There are, however, a few reasons why the Magistrates may decide not to issue a Liability Order. The most common of these are:

  • The dwelling does not appear on the Local Valuation List.
  • The amount has not been demanded or 'billed' correctly.
  • The amount demanded has been paid.
  • The complaint for a Liability Order was made more than six years after the amount became due under the regulations.
  • A joint and several liability did not exist for the period of time and the Council has sent a bill in two or more names.

Action that may be taken against you at this point regarding Business Rates includes: 

  • Instructing Enforcement Agents to visit your business property or in some cases home, and either collect the amount owed or, if this is not possible, removing items which belong to you and selling them to raise the money.
  • Applying for your bankruptcy or liquidation if a limited company.
  • Applying to the Magistrates for your committal to prison.

Once you have got to this stage of recovery a Liability Order will usually be issued. There are, however, a few reasons why the Magistrates may decide not to issue a Liability Order. The most common of these are:

  • The Council has not asked you to pay in the correct way, as the law sets down (has not billed or reminded correctly for example).
  • The total amount on the summons has been paid (and a receipt is available and shown).
  • You are not the person who is liable to pay the tax that you have been summonsed for.
  • A joint and several liability did not exist for the period of time and the Council has sent a bill in two or more names.

If any of these circumstances apply to you or you feel that a Liability Order should not rightfully be granted against you, you should already have notified Sedgemoor District Council. If you have not done this you must get in contact with Sedgemoor District Council's Recovery Section as soon as possible.

It is also sometimes possible to resolve the problem without the need to attend the Magistrates hearing. If you remain unsatisfied with Sedgemoor District Council's response, you may attend the Court hearing to make your case to the Magistrates personally. It is important to understand that the Magistrates will not be able to take your financial situation into account, however, the Recovery Section will do so. It is, therefore not possible to defend against the Liability Order because:

  • You cannot afford to pay, or
  • You have appealed to the Council or the Valuation Office Agency about the amount of your Business Rates or your Rateable Value.

If you are in arrears with your Council Tax or Business Rates and wish to discuss payments or the action being taken against you, please contact us as soon as possible.