Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Winifred's Last Stand

A Margate pensioner is in the news, promising to go to prison rather than pay a £24 council tax bill.

Winifred Allan is claiming that TDC are hounding her for cash when she says it is the council's fault for not taking the correct payments from her bank.

The sum was recorded as arrears when Winifred moved from a flat to a bungalow in Margate in 2005. But the widow claims she had no clue about it until her April bill arrived last year. Winifred, 66, said: "I have never owed them a penny and I didn't owe £24."

The row over whether Winifred owes the cash or whether the council is liable has escalated to the point of bailiffs demanding payment.

In June Winifred's case was taken to court, but she says she had no idea a summons was issued.

She said: "The letter said they would send the bailiffs round if I did not pay up. I didn't even know they were taking me to court."

At this point Winifred said she would pay but on Wednesday bailiffs called at her bungalow again, demanding more money.

The £24 bill has now rocketed to £212 for court and bailiff fees but Winifred remains defiant.

The former shop worker said: "I will willingly go to prison because of the principle. The council is holding me to ransom for £24 even though it is not my fault."

Thanet council debt recovery chief Bill Peppiatt has vowed to look into the case to see if he can help.


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4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wnifrid is being a little silly here. Even though TDC may have cocked up the debiting amounts, she should have got on and sorted the matter with TDC who, in my experience, would have given her every assistance at the beginning of the muddle.
However, she has now found out the harsh reality of dealing with TDC as a little person. Take you to court, rack up the charges, send in the bailiffs and now threaten to imprison a widowed pensioner. TDC has written off huge amounts in the recent past involving a well known businessman but God help the poor widow now! You can kick a man to permanent disability as a yob in Birchington and receive less in punishment than Winifrid is being lined up for. Our local mandarins don't like refusals to pay and will happily send her to prison.

Anonymous said...

anon again!
On the contrary, TDC are being ridiculously inane in hounding the poor old Lady.
How come Councils make such a fuss about a pittance....and are allowed to WASTE (*W-A-S-T-E*) so much Public money on the ridiculum of a.Manston b.Turner Contemporary & a host of other *follies*
Somebody with guts, should send the Bailiff in to their cages to sort them out.

Anonymous said...

I hope Winifred Allan reads this blog. My advice to her is - stand up to them. Go to prison and get as much coverage in the press as you can. This will expose the clerk who allowed the error to escalate and will give you a, probably, much earned rest. I speak with some experience and can tell you with 100% confidence that there is nothing to fear in going to prison. You will be warm, comfortable, well fed and much revered as an elderly prisoner. You will not have to work in the prison sweatshop as your age will not allow it and you will have a cell of your own and your weekly shopping delivered to you from an allowance of £10 a week. Yes, there are downsides to going to prison, but as a pensioner it is the bestter option to living in Thanet in the winter when you are over 65 and what does it matter that you will have a criminal record ? At your age it won't make an iota of difference. Stand up to them, I believe all pensioners should make a stand - they can't put them all in prison !

Anonymous said...

Of course if she doesn't owe it the court will not penalise her, its a shame that what can be genuine mistakes are used in a political manner. Also, the Turner Centre is not funded by TDC, Manston is not funded by TDC,so when making cheap political points people should rember that there are those of us who have researched the FACTS