Search

Theresa May sent court summons by Camden Council as it chased Home Office for money

08:00 25 April 2014

Home Secretary Theresa May. Picture: PA/Dominic Lipinski

Home Secretary Theresa May. Picture: PA/Dominic Lipinski

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Camden Council issued a court summons to Home Secretary Theresa May as it chased an unpaid rates bill from the government agency that scrutinises police.

Officers sent a summons to the cabinet minister over tens of thousands of pounds in business rates that were not paid by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

The IPCC, which is part of the Home Office and based in Holborn, then settled the bill just days before it was due to face the council at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court on Thursday last week.

The episode was branded a “silly” waste of taxpayers’ money by a campaigner who visited Downing Street to lobby the Prime Minister for an overhaul of the rates system.

Jessica Learmond-Criqui, of the Hampstead Shops Campaign, who led a delegation of traders demanding a rates cut for small businesses, said it showed just how confused the current system is.

She argued that public bodies should not be wasting taxpayers’ money chasing after funds from government institutions that will just be fed back into the public purse.

Ms Learmond-Criqui, a solicitor of Redington Road, Hampstead, said: “I’m surprised to hear the IPCC pays business rates at all.

“It seems odd that business rates are charged to a government department for it to be collected by another government department. That’s a lot of admin costs and unnecessary work – surely much better use could have been made of taxpayers’ money?”

Most of the rates money collected by Camden Council goes to central government, although local authorities can now keep a proportion. Public bodies are not exempt from payment.

A spokesman for the police watchdog insisted that the wrangle was not a dispute but just a “misunderstanding” that was cleared up with a few phone calls, although she did not explain why a summons was issued.

She said: “The IPCC initially believed that it was not liable to pay business rates to Camden Council for vacant office space in its High Holborn building. However, after further examination of the issue, the IPCC agreed to pay the outstanding rates.”

The council was seeking a liability order from the court, which would have forced the IPCC to pay up.

A council spokesman said: “Camden Council has a duty to collect business rates. We take the same even handed approach to collection whether they are small businesses or the Home Office.”

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 17:03
Ray Davies is returning to Hornsey Town Hall

Ray Davies performed one of his first gigs at the iconic venue when he was still at school, before going on to form The Kinks

Yesterday, 15:37
The coffin arrives for the funeral of David Gest arriving at Golders Green Crematorium in north London.

Mourners have remembered music producer and TV star David Gest at a funeral service in Golders Green.

Yesterday, 13:34
PC Shane Moulds has been dismissed for misconduct

A Camden police constable has been sacked for punching a member of the public he was arresting and hurling abuse at him, calling him a ‘posh twat’

Yesterday, 13:33
Big Green Bookshop is raising money for Haringey schools.  Joint owner Tim West  pictured. Photo: Nigel Sutton

Two book owners was sickened when an opportunistic thief stole £600, but their customers were “unbelievably” supportive and in a “tsunami of loveliness” helped them raise more than nine times the amount in donations.

Yesterday, 12:39
Found dead: David Gest (Picture: Ian West/PA Wire)

The funeral of David Gest is set to take place this afternoon at Golders Green crematorium, according to reports.

Thu, 15:57
The case will be heard at the Court of Appeal

A man convicted of murdering a reclusive author in his Hampstead home will have his case heard at the Court of Appeal because of alleged police failings.

Thu, 15:08
Protest against Cycle Superhighway Regent's Park in March. Photo by Adam Tiernan Thomas

Campaigners against the proposed Cycle Superhighway 11 in Camden have welcomed a move by neighbouring Wesminster Council to oppose the scheme.

Thu, 14:43
Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner from the Movement for Reform Judaism has said she doesn't think MP Naz Shah is anti-Semtiic

Rabbi Laura Janner Klausner welcomed Naz Shah into her home last week for an interfaith feast for Passover - and this morning said that she would like to take the suspended Labour MP to Israel.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Yummy traditional afternoon teas for two

MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Traditional Afternoon Teas for two at a location of your choice! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe