Ashfield Independents councillor caught failing to pay her council tax

A senior Ashfield Independent Party politician received a court summons last year after failing to pay her council tax.

Deputy leader Helen-Ann Smith represents the Stanton Hill and Teversal ward for the Ashfield Independents. 

Councillor Helen Ann Smith.

Councillor Helen Ann Smith.

She is also a county councillor, representing Sutton North for the Ashfield Independents.

Data revealed under the Freedom of Information Act shows Councillor Smith received a summons for £875.47 and £557.00. It has now been paid in full.

The unpaid bill related to a property she was not living in and had been derelict before she bought it. 

Councillor Smith said she had bought the property during the election, and had been unsure of when the payment period started.

She said: “It’s a property that I bought to renovate and do up, and because of the elections it was dead busy and basically I forgot about it.

“All the letters had gone to the property, but it’s basically a building site. It needs a lot of work.

“Where I live is fully up to date, it was just because it was an empty property and all the letters had gone there.

“It had just slipped under the radar to be honest.

“It’s now paid up until next year.”

Council tax for a Band A property in Ashfield is currently between £1307.10 and £1,374.61, depending on where you live. 

For a Band D property, it is between £1,960.65 and £2061.91.

The Freedom of Information response also showed that no other Ashfield District Councillors received a court summons since 2017/18.

Kit Sandeman , Local Democracy Reporting Service