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People will understandably be concerned about paying their bills during the current Coronavirus pandemic. We know that loss of income may leave many residents struggling to pay key bills such as Council Tax, or cause worries about making rent payments.

We are looking at how money from the government’s national £500m support fund will be allocated and how quickly it will be made available.

This will help us and other Councils reduce the 2020/21 Council Tax bills of working-age people who receive local council tax support.

If you have had a significant fall in income please apply for council tax support. Advice is available by ringing 0300 7900380, emailing housing.benefits@westlancs.gov.uk or going to our webpage at www.westlancs.gov.uk/bills-benefits/benefits/council-tax-support.aspx

The Council will also be able to use the hardship funding to provide further discretionary support to vulnerable people by paying out via local welfare schemes.

In the meantime if residents have any concerns about making Council Tax payments they should contact our Council Tax team on 0300 790 0381 or email to council.tax@westlancs.gov.uk so that we can ensure that you are getting all of the support that you are entitled to. Support is already in place where the Council could for example consider delaying the start of Council Tax payments for residents until July 2020 or consider other alternatives based on residents’ individual circumstances.

Councillor Adam Yates, portfolio holder for Resources and Transformation, said: “We know that the impact of the coronavirus pandemic will cause financial problems for many people and so we are working to provide as much support as we possibly can for residents. If you have concerns about paying your Council Tax please get in contact with us and we will do our absolute best to help.”

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