SERVICE STANDARDS Council Tax by asafwewe

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									SERVICE STANDARDS
Council Tax




This document can be made available in large print,
Braille, tape format or in other languages upon request


APRIL 2007
SERVICE PLAN – Council Tax (phase 1, customer perspective)


The service
The aim of West Somerset Council is to provide Council Tax payers with a reliable and
efficient service. Whilst Council Tax regulations can be quite complex, we aim to be as
open and clear as possible.

The amount of tax levied is dependant on the Council Tax band that your property falls into
and the amount of tax to be raised by this billing (Local) Authority which is made up of
Somerset County Council, Avon & Somerset Police Authority, Parish/Town Councils and
West Somerset Council. The monies raised through Council Tax contribute to the
Authority’s income. The full rate of tax is liable to be paid unless the property, owner or
occupier is eligible for a reduction or exemption. The main reasons for reductions include
empty property discounts, single person discounts, benefits for residents on low incomes
and exemptions for students.


The standard of service you can expect from us
We will:

   •   Treat you politely and will fully respect the confidentiality of the information you give
       us, and will use it only for the purposes permitted by law.
   •   Aim to send your bill within 20 working days of being told that you have moved in
       (unless your have claimed council tax benefit, when we will send you a bill within 5
       days of your benefit being calculated), or when a new property is given a council tax
       band.
   •   Aim to send a new bill within 20 working days of being told about any change in
       your circumstances that affects your bill.
   •   Provide help and advice about discounts and other reductions.
   •   Give you at least 14 days notice of any payment that you need to make unless
       otherwise agreed.
   •   Collect direct debits on time and for the right amount.
   •   Send a notice 7 days before any enforcement action is taken against you.
   •   For newly built properties, aim to tell the Valuation Office Agency within 20 working
       days that your property needs to be given a council tax band.
   •   Where an application for disabled persons reduction has been made, we aim to
       issue a decision notice within 15 working days of inspecting the property.


Help us to help you

   •   Please have any reference numbers to hand when you contact us.
   •   Please pay the right amount on the due date.
   •   If you do not understand something, or are having difficulty paying a bill, contact us
       immediately.
   •   If you receive a council tax discount or exemption and your circumstances change,
       please contact us straight away.
   •   When you move home please inform us immediately with the full details of your
       move.
SERVICE PLAN – Council Tax (phase 1, customer perspective)

    •   If you suspect someone may be fraudulently claiming a Council Tax discount or
        reduction they are not entitled to, please advise us.
    •   Please be polite when telephoning or writing to us, even if you think an error may
        have occurred.
    •   Please have your bill with you when using the Post Office and automated 24/7
        telephone payment service.

Your right to equal treatment

West Somerset Council is committed to giving an equal service to all. This means that
customers should not be treated any differently because of their gender, race, age,
disability, sexual orientation or religion.

Your right to complain
Things can go wrong, and we can make mistakes. If you are dissatisfied with something
the Council has done, that you think is wrong or unjust, you should let us know and we will
try to put things right to your satisfaction.

You can:

•       Complete a comments, compliments and complaints form available from council
        offices or online at www.westsomersetonline.gov.uk
•       Write to West Somerset Council, Customer Services, West Somerset House, Killick
        Way, Williton, Taunton TA4 4QA
•       Email us on customerservices@westsomerset.gov.uk

Further information

Further information can be obtained from the Councils website
www.westsomersetonline.gov.uk or by contacting customer services on 01643 703704.
WEST SOMERSET COUNCIL - FEEDBACK

Would you like to help us improve our services?
Here at West Somerset we really want to know what you – our customers think of the service
that we provide for you. We aim to provide a high-quality service but there is always room for
improvement. We therefore would be grateful if you could spend a few moments completing
this questionnaire.

                                                                           Personal      Other (please
                                    Phone      Email   Letter   Website
                                                                             Visit       specify)
1. How did you make your
enquiry

2. What service did you require eg housing,
benefits

                                                                           Yes              No
3. Did we meet the standards you were expecting
If no, please provide details of where we have gone wrong




Service Provided

4. How would you rate the following…….                  Excellent   Good          Fair           Poor
Ease of contact with us
Courtesy and helpfulness of the staff
Keeping you informed about the progress of your
enquiry
How would you rate the service overall

Were you kept informed?

5. How would you rate the following…….                   Strongly                              Strongly
                                                                     Agree       Disagree
                                                          agree                                disagree
The information meets my needs
The information was provided when I expected it

The information was clear and well presented
6. Is there anything we could do to improve our service?




Equal Opportunities
WSC is committed to providing an equal service to all members of the public. The following includes questions on
age, ethnicity and disability and are optional. By completing these sections you will be providing additional
information that WSC will find useful in improving its services. The information is strictly confidential and will only be
used for statistical and monitoring purposes. We will not make it available to third parties in accordance with the
Data Protection Act (1988).

Are you?
Male                               Female                              Transgender

Age
0 – 15           16 – 24           25 – 34             35 – 49         50 – 64           65 – 79           80+

Ethnic Origin
White
British                    Irish                       Other White

Mixed
White & Black         White &   Black                  Other                     Mixed
Caribbean               African                        Asian

Romany
Romany                Gypsy                  Traveller of              Traveller of                Traveller of
                                             Irish heritage            European Heritage           other Heritage

Asian
Asian or              Indian                 Pakistani                 Bangladeshi                 Other
Asian British                                                                                      Asian

Black
Black or              Caribbean              African                   Other Black
Black British

Chinese
Chinese or other           Chinese                     Other ethnic
Ethnic group                                           group

If other in any category above, please specify:
.
Disability
Do you consider yourself to have a disability?                   Yes                     No

This form may be completed anonymously. However, please provide some contact details if you would like a reply.

Name: ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Address: …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Telephone: ……………………………………                              Email: …………………………………………………………….

Preferred method of contact: ……………………………………………………………………………………………

								
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