An investigation by ITV Tyne Tees has revealed how councils are racking up huge amounts of council tax arrears as more people struggle to pay the bills.
Freedom of information requests to almost every council in the region asking how much outstanding council tax they are chasing highlight the scale of the problem.The total amount outstanding from the councils who responded to our FOI requests is just over £116 million pounds.
The investigation covered councils in the North East, Cumbria and South of Scotland. A third of the total is from the last financial year. It comes as organisations who help people with debt have reported a huge rise in the number of people needing help.