Fareham pensioner takes a stand and refuses to pay council tax

PROTEST Mick Harrington pictured with some of the letters ordering him to pay his council tax, which he is refusing to do as he thinks Fareham Borough Council is not working hard enough. Picture: Sarah Standing (14450-2094)
PROTEST Mick Harrington pictured with some of the letters ordering him to pay his council tax, which he is refusing to do as he thinks Fareham Borough Council is not working hard enough. Picture: Sarah Standing (14450-2094)

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A PENSIONER who is refusing to pay his council tax says he will not cough up the money owed until the council earns it.

Mick Harrington, from Nelson Court, in Fort Fareham Road, has not paid his tax bill since November and owes Fareham Borough Council £245.

But he says he is refusing to pay back the full amount because the council is not doing enough to warrant the amount of tax it is owed.

‘I have complained numerous times to the council about problems along Newgate Lane and it isn’t listening,’ said Mr Harrington, 68.

‘So I decided to stop paying my council tax.

‘I have been sent letters but why should I listen to them when they don’t listen to me?

‘The pavements along Newgate Lane have overhanging branches and the weeds are overgrown. I find it hard to use my disability scooter along that road and it isn’t right.’

Since refusing to pay, Mick has appeared at Fareham Magistrates’ Court and has been issued a liability order.

He has one week to pay the full amount before the council takes the next step.

A council spokesman said: ‘A reminder notice must be issued to anyone who has not made payment by the due date.

‘If the amount due has still not been paid within a period of seven days, a summons to court would be issued to the council tax payer. At court, the council can apply to the magistrates’ court for a liability order.

‘The order provides the council with the power to use a bailiff, certain benefits or issue a charging order on the property in order to recover the outstanding council tax.

‘A custodial sentence would be the last course of action.’

But Mr Harrington is still adamant he won’t pay.

He added: ‘I will take it as far as I can. I know they can give a custodial sentence if you refuse to pay so that will be the last straw.

‘But I wanted to make a stand and make them realise that I am not happy with them. I could easily pay the money in one go, but I won’t.’

During the hearing at court, Mr Harrington was ordered to pay the £245 council tax, a £45 penalty for not paying the fine within seven days and £25 costs.