Fire victim Andrea hit with double council tax

Andrea Thomas – fire destroyed her home

Andrea Thomas – fire destroyed her home

First published in News
Last updated
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A MOTHER forced to move out of her home after it was destroyed by fire has been ordered to pay council tax twice.

Andrea Thomas, 40, her two children aged eight and 13 and their pet dog, fled their home in Canvey Road, Canvey, when a fire broke out next door on June 15.

Miss Thomas, a care worker in a dementia home, is living in temporary accommodation in Chapman Road while repairs are carried out after the fire caused serious damage to her property.

But Castle Point Council has told her she must pay council tax on both properties.

The mum is also making mortgage payments and is expected to stay in rented accommodation for the foreseeable future.

Miss Thomas said: “It’s horrendous.

I can pay it all, but only just.

“Everything is going on bills and the bare necessities to keep us going along.

“I’m paying about £250 on council tax for both properties and it doesn’t seem fair.

“I’m trying to save as much as I can to spread out the cost, but it’s really difficult.

“I can claim it back at some point, but that doesn’t help me now.”

Insurers are paying rent at the temporary accommodation, but they are not paying council tax for either property. The council tax for the band E property Miss Thomas has moved into is more expensive than her bandChome in Canvey Road – leaving her with mounting bills.

David Marchant, chief executive of Castle Point Council, said: “We are sympathetic to the situation residents are facing as a result of the recent severe flooding which affected Canvey Island and parts of the mainland.

“It is the case that council tax will become payable after 28 days on homes damaged by floods or fire even though empty, and that council tax is payable on temporary accommodation.

“We are advising residents that payment of the council tax on their damaged homes should form part of their insurance claim, but that we would reconsider the position on an individual basis if there are any difficulties regarding this."

AN INVESTIGATION was launched into the fire which left the family homeless.

Firefighters were called to Canvey Road just before 4am on Sunday, June 15, after a blaze broke out and destroyed the semi-detached house.

The property was empty at the time and emergency services were only called when Miss Thomas, from next door saw the flames coming from the roof.

The fire engulfed the top floor of her neighbour’s house and caused structural damage to Miss Thomas’ roof as well as damaging clothes and belongings.

A spokesman for the fire service said: “The investigation was inconclusive.

An accident or it being deliberate are both possibilities.”

FAMILIES forced out of their homes because of flooding are also being asked to pay council tax on two properties.

Daniel Thipthorpe, 40, and his wife and two children were forced to move out of their home on Canvey following the floods.

The family’s three-bedroom home became uninhabitable and has no electricity after the floods on Sunday June 20, and plan to live in their temporary home for six months while repairs continue.

The taxi driver was told by Castle Point Council he will have to pay council tax on both properties from September, after a relief period of one month. The council also said it will reconsider if the tax cannot be claimed on insurance.

THE leader of the Canvey Island Independent Party is calling for Castle Point Council to help families in an emergency.

Dave Blackwell, councillor for Canvey Island Central, said: “I think it’s awful people have to be charged at times like this. Castle Point Council should be helping them out.

“People are living in hotels and rented accommodation and insurers do help out, but not always.

“As long as they can prove they are not living in the property, the council should give them relief not to pay council tax.

“The council should be doing something more. It needs to take a step in the right direction and show it’s commitment to people and want to help them as much as they can.”

Comments (18)

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5:28pm Mon 11 Aug 14

MilesBond says...

This is an outrage and needs national Media coverage! and an investigation in to the way Castle Point are administering their council tax bills.
This is an outrage and needs national Media coverage! and an investigation in to the way Castle Point are administering their council tax bills. MilesBond
  • Score: 21

5:33pm Mon 11 Aug 14

sesibollox says...

Life isn't always fair
Life isn't always fair sesibollox
  • Score: -11

5:42pm Mon 11 Aug 14

Goldilocks1 says...

Making money out of peoples misery, Heartless Councillors.
Making money out of peoples misery, Heartless Councillors. Goldilocks1
  • Score: 21

5:43pm Mon 11 Aug 14

Howard Cháse says...

Meanwh
e a story featured a bit further down the page says Council Tax may be refunded for some residents of Canvey in light of recent flooding


http://www.echo-news
.co.uk/news/local_ne
ws/11401128.Canvey_r
esidents_could_have_
council_tax_refunded
/
Meanwh e a story featured a bit further down the page says Council Tax may be refunded for some residents of Canvey in light of recent flooding http://www.echo-news .co.uk/news/local_ne ws/11401128.Canvey_r esidents_could_have_ council_tax_refunded / Howard Cháse
  • Score: 0

5:48pm Mon 11 Aug 14

sesibollox says...

Goldilocks1 wrote:
Making money out of peoples misery, Heartless Councillors.
Rules are rules
[quote][p][bold]Goldilocks1[/bold] wrote: Making money out of peoples misery, Heartless Councillors.[/p][/quote]Rules are rules sesibollox
  • Score: -16

6:09pm Mon 11 Aug 14

ccd says...

How can the property be both destroyed and under repair? It would be nice if the Echo could give its reports a dictionary so they can avoid this sort of basic error.
How can the property be both destroyed and under repair? It would be nice if the Echo could give its reports a dictionary so they can avoid this sort of basic error. ccd
  • Score: 8

6:32pm Mon 11 Aug 14

upset says...

You had your chance DB but turned down the chance run the council, either in a 3 way partnership or with Ukip, but no all you do is moan about what is happening from the side lines.
Put up or shut up comes to mind, what do others think?
You had your chance DB but turned down the chance run the council, either in a 3 way partnership or with Ukip, but no all you do is moan about what is happening from the side lines. Put up or shut up comes to mind, what do others think? upset
  • Score: 0

6:36pm Mon 11 Aug 14

Fab man says...

Sorry to hear about your situation Andrea but you have to pay your Council Tax as it pays the council staff wages & pensions as well as all their other so-called freebies. God forbid they pay for it themselves & all councils are at it. Legalised theft & coercion thats why you have no rights.
Sorry to hear about your situation Andrea but you have to pay your Council Tax as it pays the council staff wages & pensions as well as all their other so-called freebies. God forbid they pay for it themselves & all councils are at it. Legalised theft & coercion thats why you have no rights. Fab man
  • Score: 17

7:02pm Mon 11 Aug 14

bazza 1 says...

Just when you thought things could not get any worse, along comes your local council and kicks you in the privates.
Just when you thought things could not get any worse, along comes your local council and kicks you in the privates. bazza 1
  • Score: 11

7:02pm Mon 11 Aug 14

poortaxpayer says...

Tucked away hidden in the Council Tax Legislation is the power for any Council to reduce Council Tax by any amount they see fit to zero for any length of time they see fit. The Council can reduce the Council tax to nil until it is habitable again. If the Council claim they can't do this then they are lying.

She should appeal immediately and demand a nil bill from their Council under the following regulations:-

Local Government Finance Act 2012 - Council Tax Reforms. Council tax liability may be reduced to such an extent as the billing authority thinks
fit, in particular cases and by determining a class of case (new Section 13A(7)) and they can reduce that liability to nil (new Section13A(6)).
Tucked away hidden in the Council Tax Legislation is the power for any Council to reduce Council Tax by any amount they see fit to zero for any length of time they see fit. The Council can reduce the Council tax to nil until it is habitable again. If the Council claim they can't do this then they are lying. She should appeal immediately and demand a nil bill from their Council under the following regulations:- Local Government Finance Act 2012 - Council Tax Reforms. Council tax liability may be reduced to such an extent as the billing authority thinks fit, in particular cases and by determining a class of case (new Section 13A(7)) and they can reduce that liability to nil (new Section13A(6)). poortaxpayer
  • Score: 13

7:16pm Mon 11 Aug 14

maddriver says...

She should make a claim on her insurance, as most policies will pay all out of pocket expenses in these type of cases.
She should make a claim on her insurance, as most policies will pay all out of pocket expenses in these type of cases. maddriver
  • Score: 0

7:29pm Mon 11 Aug 14

chunkus04 says...

maddriver wrote:
She should make a claim on her insurance, as most policies will pay all out of pocket expenses in these type of cases.
why should the insurers pay the bill? The council should be helping them out if the properties are not inhabitable then they should not pay for that property. its things like this that puts up everyone's premiums.
[quote][p][bold]maddriver[/bold] wrote: She should make a claim on her insurance, as most policies will pay all out of pocket expenses in these type of cases.[/p][/quote]why should the insurers pay the bill? The council should be helping them out if the properties are not inhabitable then they should not pay for that property. its things like this that puts up everyone's premiums. chunkus04
  • Score: 3

7:33pm Mon 11 Aug 14

CHRISTMAS CAROL says...

upset wrote:
You had your chance DB but turned down the chance run the council, either in a 3 way partnership or with Ukip, but no all you do is moan about what is happening from the side lines.
Put up or shut up comes to mind, what do others think?
Think you need to shut up youself, thats what others think
[quote][p][bold]upset[/bold] wrote: You had your chance DB but turned down the chance run the council, either in a 3 way partnership or with Ukip, but no all you do is moan about what is happening from the side lines. Put up or shut up comes to mind, what do others think?[/p][/quote]Think you need to shut up youself, thats what others think CHRISTMAS CAROL
  • Score: 0

7:33pm Mon 11 Aug 14

CHRISTMAS CAROL says...

upset wrote:
You had your chance DB but turned down the chance run the council, either in a 3 way partnership or with Ukip, but no all you do is moan about what is happening from the side lines.
Put up or shut up comes to mind, what do others think?
Think you need to shut up youself, thats what others think
[quote][p][bold]upset[/bold] wrote: You had your chance DB but turned down the chance run the council, either in a 3 way partnership or with Ukip, but no all you do is moan about what is happening from the side lines. Put up or shut up comes to mind, what do others think?[/p][/quote]Think you need to shut up youself, thats what others think CHRISTMAS CAROL
  • Score: -3

7:34pm Mon 11 Aug 14

CHRISTMAS CAROL says...

Poor woman has'nt she got enough stress without all this hassle from the council
Poor woman has'nt she got enough stress without all this hassle from the council CHRISTMAS CAROL
  • Score: 3

8:45pm Mon 11 Aug 14

upset says...

CHRISTMAS CAROL wrote:
upset wrote:
You had your chance DB but turned down the chance run the council, either in a 3 way partnership or with Ukip, but no all you do is moan about what is happening from the side lines.
Put up or shut up comes to mind, what do others think?
Think you need to shut up youself, thats what others think
Happy new year!!!!
[quote][p][bold]CHRISTMAS CAROL[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]upset[/bold] wrote: You had your chance DB but turned down the chance run the council, either in a 3 way partnership or with Ukip, but no all you do is moan about what is happening from the side lines. Put up or shut up comes to mind, what do others think?[/p][/quote]Think you need to shut up youself, thats what others think[/p][/quote]Happy new year!!!! upset
  • Score: 1

8:45pm Mon 11 Aug 14

upset says...

CHRISTMAS CAROL wrote:
upset wrote:
You had your chance DB but turned down the chance run the council, either in a 3 way partnership or with Ukip, but no all you do is moan about what is happening from the side lines.
Put up or shut up comes to mind, what do others think?
Think you need to shut up youself, thats what others think
Happy new year!!!!
[quote][p][bold]CHRISTMAS CAROL[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]upset[/bold] wrote: You had your chance DB but turned down the chance run the council, either in a 3 way partnership or with Ukip, but no all you do is moan about what is happening from the side lines. Put up or shut up comes to mind, what do others think?[/p][/quote]Think you need to shut up youself, thats what others think[/p][/quote]Happy new year!!!! upset
  • Score: 1

10:27am Tue 12 Aug 14

sesibollox says...

upset wrote:
CHRISTMAS CAROL wrote:
upset wrote:
You had your chance DB but turned down the chance run the council, either in a 3 way partnership or with Ukip, but no all you do is moan about what is happening from the side lines.
Put up or shut up comes to mind, what do others think?
Think you need to shut up youself, thats what others think
Happy new year!!!!
I had a right laff, this is Canvey, lowest land for miles...
[quote][p][bold]upset[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]CHRISTMAS CAROL[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]upset[/bold] wrote: You had your chance DB but turned down the chance run the council, either in a 3 way partnership or with Ukip, but no all you do is moan about what is happening from the side lines. Put up or shut up comes to mind, what do others think?[/p][/quote]Think you need to shut up youself, thats what others think[/p][/quote]Happy new year!!!![/p][/quote]I had a right laff, this is Canvey, lowest land for miles... sesibollox
  • Score: 0

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