Reverend takes Haringey Council to court over council tax charges

Reverend Paul Nicolson

Reverend Paul Nicolson - Credit: Archant

A ‘man of the cloth’ is taking Haringey Council to court over “draconian” council tax charges.

Paul Nicolson, a retired reverend, is claiming the court costs for people who fail to pay their council tax have been too expensive for years.

Rev Nicolson is asking that anyone who has been charged since 2008 be refunded.

And he wants independent auditors to write a detailed report declaring the costs are unlawful.

Rev Nicolson said people had to pay a blanket charge for court costs, even if they paid their council tax in full when they first received the court summons.

The Reverend first took Haringey Council to the High Court in May last year when they charged him £125 after he refused to pay his council tax. The charge was found to be unlawful.

They reduced the summons costs from £125 to £102 and the liability order costs from £125 to £115.

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The latest High Court case, which examines the costs of the charges levied to all residents who do not pay their council tax, will be heard at the Royal Courts of Justice on February 24.

Rev Nicolson has been campaigning on this issue since 2013.

A Haringey Council spokesman said: “As we have made clear previously, independent external auditors from Grant Thornton investigated and confirmed that costs claimed by the council were broadly reasonable, seeking only to cover the costs of legal proceedings and avoid them impacting on essential frontline services.

“The auditors agreed that Haringey’s approach was and is legal and in line with other London boroughs and found no grounds to grant Rev Nicolson’s requests for his concerns to be taken further.”

And he added: “We accept the previous findings of the court and the auditors and await the outcome of Rev Nicolson’s latest court challenge.”