News Release Forget the rest - Direct Debit is best

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					                                                                         COMMUNICATIONS TEAM

                                                          Town Hall, Castle Circus, Torquay, Devon TQ1 3DR
                                                                         Main Switchboard (01803) 201201
                                                                           Direct Lines (01803) 208850 /51
                                                                           Fax (01803) 299878 • DX 59006
                                                                                         www.torbay.gov.uk




                     NEWS RELEASE
PR 1055
                                                                                     19 March 2007

For Immediate Release

                    Forget the rest -- Direct Debit is best
Torbay residents stand to win a £250 prize if they arrange to pay their Council Tax by
Direct Debit.


Around 25,000 Bay households already pay by Direct Debit, and now Torbay Council is
encouraging others to follow suit.


The council's bank, Nat West, has put up two prizes of £250 as an incentive.


Everyone who sets up a Direct Debit for Council Tax between now and the end of May
2007 will be entered into a draw for one prize of £250.


The other prize of £250 will go to the winner of a draw for people who already pay by this
method as recognition of their continued use of this payment method.


Trish Webster, the council's Assistant Director for Customer Services, said: "For those who
have appropriate bank or building society accounts, there are several advantages to
paying by Direct Debit. It helps people manage their household budgets, and helps prevent
them overlooking their payments.


"Direct Debit payers are also covered by the Direct Debit guarantee that ensures payments
that are taken incorrectly will be automatically restored without question. If a Direct Debit
payer tells us of a house move within the Torbay area the council will automatically change




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the instalments, update the bill and notify the payer so the Direct Debit does not need to be
cancelled or amended.


"Direct Debits can be set up over the phone from 1 April without any form filling required.


"From our point of view, it is the cheapest and most effective way of collecting Council Tax.
The cost of processing cash or cheque payments is ten times more expensive, and this is
money that can be better spent on other council services.


"With Council Tax bills having just gone out, we hope that many more people will take the
opportunity to set up a Direct Debit and take the hassle out of paying their bills.


"We are very grateful to the Nat West for putting up the prize money for this draw."


HOW TO ENTER THE PRIZE DRAW


Are you an existing Direct Debit payer?
You need do nothing – your name will automatically be entered in the draw and the winner
picked at random


Are you planning to set up a Direct Debit?
Fill in the mandate on the back of your new bill and send it to Torbay Council or telephone
01803 207207 between 1 April and 31 May, making sure you have your bank details to
hand when you call – your name will be entered into the draw and the winner picked at
random.


Winners will be announced in week commencing 11 June and the process will be
scrutinised by our auditors.




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For further information please contact: Peter Surcombe, Communications Officer on
01803 208860




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