Council Tax and Coronavirus

Those struggling to pay their council tax bills will not be chased up for at least three months, Gwynedd Council has announced.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic casting a shadow over all aspects of life, legal requirements mean that annual demands have been falling through letterboxes across the county.

But prompted by concerns by one councillor that many would be struggling to pay their rates during a time of widespread economic uncertainty the authority has confirmed that measures are in place to help those struggling to make ends meet.

Cllr Sion Jones, Labour member for Bethel, wrote to both the chief executive and leader, urging them not to be mindful of those who have seen their incomes slashed overnight.

“Gwynedd residents face a huge challenge during this time, and its clear to me that many self-employed residents are facing an even greater challenge to pay bills,” he said.

“I call on you to consider providing flexibility for those who cannot pay bills through this period, and that the Council is considering not expecting council tax payments for three months from those who have no income, at especially those who are self-employed.”

Cllr Ioan Thomas cabinet member for finance, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service:  “We understand that this difficult period creates real anxiety for people, but we are confident that Gwynedd’s people, businesses and organisations will adhere to the national expectations, and contribute fully to the community effort needed to protect the most vulnerable.“As part of our response, we would like to reassure residents who are having Council Tax difficulties due to the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic, that we will help them with exemptions or discounts they may be entitled to.

“We fully appreciate that the directions announced by the UK Prime Minister will put financial pressure on some families.

“At present, the Council has not received any direction to change its Council Tax arrangements and therefore all those who are able to pay are expected to continue with payment. This will obviously help us to maintain vitally important services during this emergency.

"However, we are eager to support those whose circumstances have changed and we will be as flexible as possible to help these Gwynedd residents.“We will be as sympathetic as possible to families who contact us regarding Council Tax to explain that their income has reduced and we will be as flexible as we can to help during this difficult period.

“As part of this commitment, we will be temporarily suspending Council Tax recovery arrangements for a three-month period in the first instance and our Council Tax staff will be as sympathetic as possible to any specific requests.”

Anyone undergoing problems or has concerns about their ability to pay Council Tax - or e-mail