Victory for council tax campaigners

Residents Stephen Wagstaff (Torbay Court), Eileen Miles (Torbay Court) and Gerry Townson (Newquay Court).
Residents Stephen Wagstaff (Torbay Court), Eileen Miles (Torbay Court) and Gerry Townson (Newquay Court).
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Residents in part of Blackpool have won their battle to have their council tax banding reduced – after claiming it was unfair one neighbour was paying less for town hall services.

The Valuation Office, which decides on council tax bandings, has now written to Gerry Townson, secretary of Devonshire Court, which includes Torbay Court, Newquay Court. and Dawlish Court in Blackpool, to say the properties will be moved from their current band B to band A.

The move will save residents £170 a year, based on the current rate of council tax.

Mr Townson said: “Finally my two-and-a-half year battle with the Valuation Office has been won and I am so happy for the residents.

“As far as back-dated payments are concerned, some residents have been paying too much since 1991 when the bandings were first introduced, so I will be approaching the council to clarify this matter and expect all overpayments to be refunded.”

The application to amend the bandings came about when it emerged nine of the apartments that make up Devonshire Court are in band B, while one is in band A after a previous owner successfully challenged the property’s valuation.

Residents argued all the flats were the same size, all had a garage, and all faced the same way, and so they should all be in the same band.

The Gazette highlighted the residents’ plight last week as they fought for a reduction.

Eileen Miles, 74, of Torbay Court, said: “We’re pleased this is going to be put right because there are a lot of elderly residents living in the flats and it will make a difference to them to have the extra money in their pockets.”

The council tax charge for a band A property in Blackpool is currently £1,015, while for a band B property it is £1,184.

A spokesman for the VOA: “Following fresh information received, the VOA has contacted a number of residents in Torbay Court, Newquay Court and Dawlish Court to inform them that their council tax bands have changed.

“We have passed the information to the council who have responsibility for considering refund payments.”

Click here to read more on this story: FLAT SAME SIZE, SAME VIEW BUT £170 MORE

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