Council tax

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ke...@cam.ac.uk

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Nov 23, 2009, 1:24:59 PM11/23/09
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ISTR that there has been a discussion here recently on the status for Council
tax of Ph.D students beyond terms.

We now have an instance of a fourth-year undergraduate (or rather her landlord)
being told by the Council that fourth year *undergraduates* on bona fide
four-year courses, not living in College, are no longer exempt from CT.
She has all the appropriate documentation from the College.

Has anyone else encountered this one? It seems that having lost the battle on
4th year PhD students they are looking elsewhere for targets...

Katy

Tim Ward

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Nov 23, 2009, 2:12:09 PM11/23/09
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<ke...@cam.ac.uk> wrote in message
news:heek1r$jpv$1...@soup.linux.pwf.cam.ac.uk...

>
> Has anyone else encountered this one?

I'm asking.

--
Tim Ward - posting as an individual unless otherwise clear
Brett Ward Limited - www.brettward.co.uk
Cambridge Accommodation Notice Board - www.brettward.co.uk/canb
Cambridge City Councillor


Espen Koht

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Nov 23, 2009, 2:19:20 PM11/23/09
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In article <heek1r$jpv$1...@soup.linux.pwf.cam.ac.uk>, ke...@cam.ac.uk
wrote:

No doubt Colin or Tim will be around in a minute to explain that the
council can't just make up rules as it goes along unless it has been
granted explicit legal power to do so ....... or maybe not.

Tim Ward

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Nov 23, 2009, 2:26:39 PM11/23/09
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"Espen Koht" <eh...@cam.ac.uk> wrote in message
news:ehk20-857DA6....@nntp-serv.cam.ac.uk...

>
> No doubt Colin or Tim will be around in a minute to explain that the
> council can't just make up rules as it goes along unless it has been
> granted explicit legal power to do so .......

Correct. And there are very few areas in which the city council does have
this power to make up laws - planning policy is the obvious one, most of the
other areas where we have to write policies which have legal force there's
little realistic option but to rubber stamp the standard rules.

Espen Koht

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Nov 23, 2009, 2:49:47 PM11/23/09
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In article <7n05vgF...@mid.individual.net>,
"Tim Ward" <t...@brettward.co.uk> wrote:

> "Espen Koht" <eh...@cam.ac.uk> wrote in message
> news:ehk20-857DA6....@nntp-serv.cam.ac.uk...
> >
> > No doubt Colin or Tim will be around in a minute to explain that the
> > council can't just make up rules as it goes along unless it has been
> > granted explicit legal power to do so .......
>
> Correct. And there are very few areas in which the city council does have
> this power to make up laws - planning policy is the obvious one, most of the
> other areas where we have to write policies which have legal force there's
> little realistic option but to rubber stamp the standard rules.

The fact that the power to decide who is a student under the relevant
legislation is vested in the Secretary of State doesn't seem bother the
council though.

Message has been deleted

ke...@cam.ac.uk

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Dec 2, 2009, 4:27:18 AM12/2/09
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In article <heek1r$jpv$1...@soup.linux.pwf.cam.ac.uk>, <ke...@cam.ac.uk> wrote:
>ISTR that there has been a discussion here recently on the status for Council
>tax of Ph.D students beyond terms.
>
>We now have an instance of a fourth-year undergraduate (or rather her landlord)
>being told by the Council that fourth year *undergraduates* on bona fide
>four-year courses, not living in College, are no longer exempt from CT.
>She has all the appropriate documentation from the College.
>

Continuing the story.... Thelandlord was told that the application for
exemption would be put forward but "I guarantee it will be refused". He has
now received a demand for payment.

The Secretary of the Bursars' Committee is on the case, now that we know it is
not just front-desk ignorance but an apparent attempt to make up policy. This
particular student has good people fighting her cause, but I am concerned about
the number of others who may simply have paid up.

If there is any Councillor here who would like to take an interest, I will seek
permission to put him/her in direct touch with those concerned.

Katy

rosen...@cix.compulink.co.uk

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Dec 2, 2009, 7:11:07 AM12/2/09
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In article <hf5btm$c15$1...@smaug.linux.pwf.cam.ac.uk>, ke...@cam.ac.uk ()
wrote:

If you send me enough details to identify the case I will chase up why
agreed policy is not being followed.

As an aside, this is clearly not just a Cambridge problem. My daughter
received a Council Tax summons when she got back to her flat in Leicester
on Sunday. She is a first year undergraduate at DMU. The Council was told
she was a student when she moved in. It's not a student flat because she
is a single parent and DMU offer no housing to parents.

--
Colin Rosenstiel

Roland Perry

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Dec 2, 2009, 7:24:28 AM12/2/09
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In message <VKOdna02kpLGxIvW...@giganews.com>, at 06:11:07
on Wed, 2 Dec 2009, rosen...@cix.compulink.co.uk remarked:

>My daughter received a Council Tax summons when she got back to her
>flat in Leicester on Sunday.

No warnings?
--
Roland Perry

Espen Koht

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Dec 2, 2009, 7:43:44 AM12/2/09
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In article <VKOdna02kpLGxIvW...@giganews.com>,
rosen...@cix.compulink.co.uk wrote:

Arguably there is more than just 'agreed policy' that is not being
followed.

Roland Perry

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Dec 2, 2009, 7:56:21 AM12/2/09
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In message <ehk20-C0B2F9....@nntp-serv.cam.ac.uk>, at
12:43:44 on Wed, 2 Dec 2009, Espen Koht <eh...@cam.ac.uk> remarked:

>> If you send me enough details to identify the case I will chase up why
>> agreed policy is not being followed.
>
>Arguably there is more than just 'agreed policy' that is not being
>followed.

It's a shame there isn't some kind of "conspiracy to defraud" offence
that the police could be asked to investigate.

Maybe the Local Authority Ombudsman could be called in?
--
Roland Perry

Tim Ward

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Dec 2, 2009, 12:34:52 PM12/2/09
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"Roland Perry" <rol...@perry.co.uk> wrote in message
news:WHCl4Zu1...@perry.co.uk...

>
> Maybe the Local Authority Ombudsman could be called in?

I think that's an "only after you've exhausted local processes" thingy.
Which would mean at least a formal complaint to the chief exec's department.
The complaints procedure should be on the web site.

rosen...@cix.compulink.co.uk

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Dec 2, 2009, 3:56:55 PM12/2/09
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In article <WHCl4Zu1...@perry.co.uk>, rol...@perry.co.uk (Roland
Perry) wrote:

Sounds more like blackmail - unwarranted demands with menaces.

--
Colin Rosenstiel

rosen...@cix.compulink.co.uk

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Dec 2, 2009, 3:56:54 PM12/2/09
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In article <CUAQcxs8xlFLFA$R...@perry.co.uk>, rol...@perry.co.uk (Roland
Perry) wrote:

Apparently not. The Council were told she is a student when she picked up
a demand addressed to the previous tenant on the mat on arrival adn DMU
apparently give the Council a list of their students with addresses.

--
Colin Rosenstiel

Whatever

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Dec 2, 2009, 4:11:37 PM12/2/09
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<rosen...@cix.compulink.co.uk> wrote in message
news:VKOdna02kpLGxIvW...@giganews.com...

Is this another daughter or has the first one given up her cambridge ha
flat for a Leicester one?
I know you won't see the point to my question, nor the need to answer, but
that just proves the point to me.

Duncan Wood

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Dec 2, 2009, 7:03:55 PM12/2/09
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It's very fortunate that the finance department has changed its staff &
implemented new procedures to stop this happening in the last 20 yrs.

--
Duncan Wood

Roland Perry

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Dec 3, 2009, 6:20:59 AM12/3/09
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In message <1tydnYrxkvsLSYvW...@giganews.com>, at 14:56:54
on Wed, 2 Dec 2009, rosen...@cix.compulink.co.uk remarked:
>> >My daughter received a Council Tax summons when she got back to her
>> >flat in Leicester on Sunday.
>>
>> No warnings?
>
>Apparently not. The Council were told she is a student when she picked up
>a demand addressed to the previous tenant on the mat on arrival adn DMU
>apparently give the Council a list of their students with addresses.

You'd think they'd at least send a bill, before issuing a summons.
--
Roland Perry

rosen...@cix.compulink.co.uk

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Dec 3, 2009, 7:21:45 AM12/3/09
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In article <b1ZGEjZb...@perry.co.uk>, rol...@perry.co.uk (Roland
Perry) wrote:

> In message <1tydnYrxkvsLSYvW...@giganews.com>, at
> 14:56:54 on Wed, 2 Dec 2009, rosen...@cix.compulink.co.uk remarked:
> >> >My daughter received a Council Tax summons when she got back to her
> >> >flat in Leicester on Sunday.
> >>
> >> No warnings?
> >
> >Apparently not. The Council were told she is a student when she picked

> >up a demand addressed to the previous tenant on the mat on arrival and

> >DMU apparently give the Council a list of their students with
> >addresses.
>
> You'd think they'd at least send a bill, before issuing a summons.

There was a bill back in September. Dunno what's come since

--
Colin Rosenstiel

Message has been deleted

Roland Perry

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Dec 3, 2009, 8:09:25 AM12/3/09
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In message <oenku6-...@llondel.org>, at 12:27:36 on Thu, 3 Dec 2009,
Dave {Reply Address In.Sig} <noone$$@llondel.org> remarked:

>>The Council were told she is a student when she picked up
>> a demand addressed to the previous tenant on the mat on arrival adn DMU
>> apparently give the Council a list of their students with addresses.
>>
>Do the students have to give permission for DMU to release these details?

When they enrol, almost certainly.
--
Roland Perry

Roland Perry

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Dec 3, 2009, 8:08:12 AM12/3/09
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In message <b4WdnZl84IvEMIrW...@giganews.com>, at 06:21:45
on Thu, 3 Dec 2009, rosen...@cix.compulink.co.uk remarked:

>> >> >My daughter received a Council Tax summons when she got back to her
>> >> >flat in Leicester on Sunday.
>> >>
>> >> No warnings?
>> >
>> >Apparently not. The Council were told she is a student when she picked
>> >up a demand addressed to the previous tenant on the mat on arrival and
>> >DMU apparently give the Council a list of their students with
>> >addresses.
>>
>> You'd think they'd at least send a bill, before issuing a summons.
>
>There was a bill back in September. Dunno what's come since

If I was guessing... some red reminders that got ignored?
--
Roland Perry

rosen...@cix.compulink.co.uk

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Dec 3, 2009, 9:00:05 AM12/3/09
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In article <+IAfbFm8...@perry.co.uk>, rol...@perry.co.uk (Roland
Perry) wrote:

Doubt it but I'm on my way there now and will be able to check.

--
Colin Rosenstiel

David Feller

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Dec 7, 2009, 1:29:55 PM12/7/09
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They haven't given up on 4th year PhD students entirely: if you got a
Master's degree before pursuing your PhD, they are counting that as
the first year of your PhD and so not allowing you anything more than
3 years to complete your PhD. I just got the letter today.

If I had any faith that they would in fact refund tax payments
wrongfully made under this policy, I would do so but of course, given
the bad faith with which the Council has conducted itself in this
matter, I have zero expectation that they will refund it quickly, if
ever. I'm left with little choice but to wait for their enforcement
action, or to press my own legal suit against the Council.

Anybody want to sign on for a class action suit?

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