A grieving granddaughter was amazed to be asked for council arrears to cover her late grandfather’s estate – for a single penny.
Jane Thickett was stunned to receive the bill from Wyre Council while executing the estate of James Granville (pictured below), who died aged 94, having lived on Hardhorn Road, Poulton.
When Mrs Thickett, a former Blackpool and The Fylde College lecturer, from Wrea Green, informed the local authority his home had been sold on, she thought the matter wasclosed.
But she later received a final council tax bill – for 1p.
She said: “I was a bit flabbergasted, to say the least.It must have cost a lot more to prepare the actual account and send it.”
The letter explained how it would need to be settled to close the account, before outlining a list of deductions and reaching a final total of one pence. Mrs Thickett, 59, said how her family joked she should go to make the payment with a £20 note.
She added: “The receptionist was glad I didn’t. They laughed about it, only because I was too.
“But they were a bit concerned I’d even got the letter in the first place, they said there’s usually a cap on these things. I just paid it, but with them saying there’s usually a cap I thought they may have said don’t bother, but they still took the penny.”
The authority has now apologised, saying the letter was sent out in error.
A spokesman for Wyre Council said: “We would like to apologise to the family over this matter. The bill in question should not have been sent, but regrettably slipped through the net.”
Mr Granville, who was a great-great grandfather, died on November 12 last year, after battling cancer in his final years.
He had worked for most of his life on a popcorn stand concession in the Pleasure Beach before retiring, and maintained his independence well in to his 90s. His granddaughter, one of six, said she was sure he would have been as amused, and bemused, as she was about the bill.
She added: “It is ridiculous. If it had been, say, just after he’d passed away I probably would have taken it a bit differently. I think he probably would have laughed it off though.”