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Council admits it was wrong to hound widower over dead wife's £8.62 debt

Mr Sagoo was hounded for £8.62 Credit: ITV

Sevenoaks Council has admitted it was wrong to contact a widower to request a debt from his dead wife. It sent numerous demands for £8.62 despite the fact Shamsher Sagoo's wife had died last June from cancer. In the end Mr Sagoo, from Edenbridge, said he was forced to take his wife's ashes to the town hall to prove she was dead.

"We are extremely sorry we have caused distress to Mr Sagoo and accept we have made a mistake. We have spoken with Mr Sagoo and expressed our deepest apologies and we are no longer requesting this money. Letters should not have been sent to the late Mrs Sagoo and as a result of this incident we are reviewing our procedures to ensure it cannot happen again.”

– Sevenoaks Council


Families hit by flooding given council tax break

Hundreds of families in the South still unable to move back into their homes after the winter's floods won't have to pay any council tax until they do.

Homes across the south were devastated by flooding this winter Credit: ITV Meridian

According to the Government, 123 families in Hampshire have been unable to return home. More than 70 in Surrey and 60 across the Thames Valley. Anyone who has not yet been offered a discount should contact their local council.

Homes across the south were devastated by flooding this winter Credit: ITV Meridian

Vote of no confidence in Brighton's Green Party passed

Labour and Conservative councillors in Brighton have passed a vote of no confidence in the Green Party after it's members proposed 4.75% rise in the city's council tax.

A vote of no confidence in Brighton's Green Party is passed Credit: ITV Meridian

The Green administration plans go beyond the Government's expected threshold of 2%, which means residents will be given a chance to vote on the increase.


Woman admits £29,000 benefit fraud

A woman from West Wittering has been given a prison sentence after falsely claimed nearly £29,000 in benefits.

Lorely Day had claimed the money for over six years without declaring that she had a substantial monthly private pension.

Miss Day received a 12 week prison sentence, suspended for 2 years, after claiming £23,369.58 in Housing Benefit and £5,629.69 in Council Tax benefit between November 2006 and January 2013.

She pleaded guilty at Worthing Magistrates Court to charges of dishonestly making false statements to Chichester District Council.

Benefit fraud is a very serious crime and we will prosecute those people guilty of it. All income and capital has to be declared, no matter what its source. The benefits system is there to help those most in need, not those who want to abuse it by claiming money they are not entitled to receive."

– Cllr Tony Dignum, Cabinet Member for Finance at Chichester District Council
  1. David Johns (@davidjohns_itv)

Special Treat for Kent Specials

Ann Barnes has announced that Kent's team of Special Constables will have the police part of their council tax paid for them, by the force, from 2014.

She says although the money is what she calls "a drop in the ocean" it's an important thank-you gesture to the officers, who are all unpaid volunteers. David Johns has the story.

He talks to Deputy Chief Constable Alan Pughsley, Special Constable Mohammed Rahman, Kent PCC Ann Barnes, Chief Officer of Kent Special Constabulary Gavin McKinnon, and Special Constable Jason Bushell.

Council tax rise agreed for Brighton

People living in Brighton and Hove will be paying almost two per cent more council tax this financial year.

Councillors approved the 1.96 per cent rise last night - the maximum increase allowed. Labour supported the minority Green administration's plan to increase the tax by the maximum amount possible. The Conservatives recommended a tax freeze.

Green councillors said the rise was necessary to safeguard services.

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