"Vulnerable" residents to pay council tax

A ruling at the High Court today could mean some of Sheffield's poorest residents will have council tax bills landing on their doormats for the first time. A decision by the city council to remove the 100% exemption from the tax was challenged by four residents - but thrown out by a judge.

The new rule, where even those worst-off would have to pay at least 23% of their council tax bills, is due to take effect on April 1st. The four complainants had argued that the consultation process that came before the decision was unfair and misleading.

Their lawyers also said the council had failed to properly consider the impact on vulnerable groups, including children and disabled people. Judge Supperstone said the setting up of a £500,000 hardship fund was "the best way" of helping those facing financial crisis.