Released on 16 July 2012
Residents from Mytchett, Frimley and Deepcut have won a Surrey Heath Borough Council competition to encourage more people to pay their council tax by Direct Debit.
Council tax payers who opted to change to Direct Debit before Friday 13 April 2012, together with those who already pay in this way, were entered into a draw to win £200, £100 or £50.
Winner of the top prize, Mytchett resident Mrs Susan Hylton, said: "Having retired only last month, the £200 prize couldn't have come at a better time. Before I started using Direct Debit it was always a worry I might forget to pay on-time each month. Now that worry is taken out of my hands and it's easy and convenient for me."
No less than 1074 new Direct Debits have been set up since the issue of bills on 8 March 2012, bringing the percentage of taxpayers now paying by Direct Debit in Surrey Heath to almost 73%. The collection rate for council tax in Surrey Heath during 2011/12 was 99.5%, the top performing in the country.
Surrey Heath's finance portfolio holder Councillor Richard Brooks, who drew out the competition winners, said: "Direct Debit not only saves residents time but it keeps the council's costs down, which lowers the amount of money that taxpayers end up paying. Although we already have an exceptionally high number of people who pay by Direct Debit, this recent competition was run to help increase the number of people who pay their council tax in this way."
Other advantages to paying in this way include making sure your payment is never late; it is a greener way to pay, and the Direct Debit guarantee means that if a payment has been taken in error or you did not know about it then it must be refunded back to you.
To make the switch to Direct Debit call 01276 707176 or pop into the Council's Contact Centre (Knoll Road, Camberley, Surrey, GU15 3HD). Residents will need their council tax bill and bank details to set it up.
To find out more about paying council tax via Direct Debit, visit: www.surreyheath.gov.uk/payingct