Issue - meetings


Meeting: 01/12/2015 - Cabinet (Item 105)

105 Methods of Income Collection pdf icon PDF 79 KB

To encourage the District Council’s customers to pay by methods other than cheques.

Additional documents:




That alternative methods of payment be actively promoted to customers currently paying by cheque.



The Cabinet considered the report circulated with the agenda (copy attached to the official minutes).


Mr Finch introduced the report, explaining that, following representations he had received from members, he wished to change recommendation 2.1 in order to make it clear that the Council wished to adopt a persuasive rather than a coercive approach to discourage payments by cheque.


He explained that, although payment by cheque was declining and online and telephone payments were increasing, 3.5% of payments were still made by cheque. Cheques required additional administrative and processing time, and hence added to the costs to council taxpayers. It was intended, therefore, to reach out to people who paid by cheque to encourage them to use one of the other methods of payment, always allowing for exceptional circumstances.


Mrs Taylor welcomed the proposed amendment to the recommendation, because some vulnerable individuals would find it difficult to cease paying by cheque. Mr Finch pointed out that roughly 55% of cheques received related to payment of business rates and council tax, and were not from vulnerable individuals. The intention was to reach out to individuals and explain how easy it was to use other methods.


With the consent of the Chairman, Mr Shaxson stated that the proposed modification of recommendation 2.1 allayed some of his concerns. The report suggested that around 70 – 80 cheques a day were received, which was not insignificant. However, even if businesses changed their methods, there was still a large number of individuals who currently paid by cheque for reasons that were not known to the Council.


Mr Finch replied that the Council had not researched why people paid by cheque, but active intervention would provide data on this. He felt that inertia was a major reason. Mrs Dodsworth (Head of Business Support Services) added that some client groups used cheques where payment was made on behalf of someone else, e.g. careline customers and planning agents.


The Chairman concluded that it was not the Council’s purpose to make things difficult for the elderly and vulnerable, but payment by cheque should be discouraged in a sensitive way.


It was pointed out that recommendation 2.1 was not needed as recommendation 2.2 covered the situation.




That alternative methods of payment be actively promoted to customers currently paying by cheque.