South Ward debt support group shortlisted for national award

PUBLISHED: 11:00 03 October 2016

Archant

A pilot scheme which helped provide debt support to deprived families in Weston-super-Mare's South Ward has been recognised for its service to society.

The #FirstSteps scheme has been nominated for the Institute of Revenues, Rating and Evaluation (IRRV) Performance Award.

Councillor Ian Parker decided to see if there was a less heavy-handed way to collect overdue council tax after fielding calls from residents distressed by bailiffs.

North Somerset Council and Liberata set up the scheme to help people who are struggling to pay council tax.

The pilot project was nominated for its face-to-face approach and the impact it had on those struggling with debt.

The group organised letter drops, door-to-door services, and drop-in surgeries.

Cllr Parker said: “I’ve got nothing but praise for what the officers have done and how they have affected the lives of people in the ward.”

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