Council Tax bills frequently asked questions

Council Tax bills - FAQs

Got a question about your Council Tax bill? You may find the answer in our list of frequently asked questions below:

Please note, these FAQs are for residents living in the Daventry area of West Northamptonshire. If you are unsure which area you are covered by, please check the Council Tax account reference number on your bill:

  • If the Council Tax account reference number on your bill starts with a 9 then you are in the Daventry area and can find out more information in the FAQs below and on our Council Tax pages
  • If the Council Tax account reference on your bill starts with a 5 please visit www.northampton.gov.uk  
  • If the Council tax account reference on your bill starts with a 1 please visit www.southnorthants.gov.uk 

 

What is West Northamptonshire Council? 
On 1 April 2021, Northamptonshire County Council and the county’s seven District and Borough councils will be replaced by the new West Northamptonshire Council and North Northamptonshire Council. From this date, West Northamptonshire Council will deliver public services to the residents and businesses previously served by Daventry District, Northampton Borough and South Northants councils. Find out more about the reorganisation of local government in Northamptonshire 


As West Northamptonshire Council did not exist last year, how can there be a percentage increase from last year shown on the Council Tax bill?
The percentage increase shown is the increase on the charges levied by Northamptonshire County Council and Daventry District Council in 2020/21.


My Council tax bill says the West Northamptonshire Council charge has increased by over 2% - why was there not a referendum?
The referendum threshold percentage applies to the average increase across the whole of West Northamptonshire.  The total average increase over the whole authority was 1.9% this year, so there was no referendum. However, there will be some differences between the increase seen in different areas due to the harmonisation of Council Tax and special expenses. This means not everyone will see the same percentage change on their bill.  


Why is there a separate Adult Social Care charge?  
The law requires West Northamptonshire Council to split the Adult Social Care charge from their standard charge shown on the Council Tax bill, so residents can see exactly how much each charge is. However, the overall percentage increase must be calculated with the Adult Social Care element shown as part of the standard County Council increase.  


The Adult social care percentage increase is 3%. I thought increases over 2% triggered a referendum?
The Adult Social Care precept can be increased by 3% of the combined County Council General Fund and County Council Adult Social Council Tax set last year, not just the Adult Social Care element from last year, without the need for a referendum. 


Where can I find out more information regarding WNC’s budget?
The budget for West Northamptonshire Council, and its element of council tax, was set by the West Northamptonshire Shadow Authority on 23 February. Find the full details of the budget presented at the Northamptonshire Shadow Authority meeting


How can the Police element of the charge be increased by more than 2%?
The Police Authority can increase their element of Council Tax by up to £15 without triggering a referendum. The Fire Authority is allowed an increase of up to 2% without triggering a referendum. These are the rules set out by government. 

Find further details of the budgets and precepts set by the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner 


Who can I contact with an enquiry regarding the Northamptonshire Police Fire and Crime Commissioners budgets?
Please call the Office of Northamptonshire Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner contact centre on 01604 888113 or visit the Northamptonshire Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner website  


Why does my bill show that my Parish Council has increased its Council Tax requirement by more than 2%?
Parish councils are free to increase their Council Tax requirements to whatever they feel they need, in order to run the services they deliver. Unlike larger authorities, they have no caps on what they can increase their demand by. For more information on your Parish or Town Council’s budget and plans, please visit its website or contact the parish or town council directly.


My friend who lives in the same property band as I in a different part of West Northamptonshire is being charged a different amount of Council Tax to me. Why is that?
Across the West Northamptonshire area different levels of Council Tax have previously been raised in each of the existing Districts and Borough. Whilst the Council Tax level set by Northamptonshire County Council was the same for all parts of the County, the rates set by the Districts and Borough were different. 

In order to set a single rate of Council Tax for West Northamptonshire, the Council will harmonise Council Tax whereby the charges are adjusted over an agreed period to arrive at a single consistent rate. 

Therefore, there will be different changes to Council Tax levels in the different areas as the levels of Council Tax are brought together over a number of years.


What level of Council Tax support will WNC offer those on a low income?
The formation of the new unitary Council means the three existing Council Tax Reduction schemes need to be brought together into one scheme from 1 April 2021. From that date, the maximum discount a working-age person can receive will be 80% of their Council Tax.  


I normally pay by cheque, who do I make cheques payable to in future?
Please make cheques payable to West Northamptonshire Council. 

If you have made a Council Tax payment by cheque to West Northamptonshire Council, please note that we will only be able to cash the cheque after 1 April, 2021 – when the bank account for the new Council is in place.


I pay my Council Tax by electronic banking. Do I have to change the bank account number or reference I quote?
No, please quote the same reference and make payments to the same Council bank account as you did previously.


As WNC is a new Council do I have to set up a new Direct Debit to pay my Council Tax?
No. If you already pay by Direct Debit your instalments will continue to be collected from your bank on the dates shown on your Council Tax bill.  You can set up a Direct Debit for your Council Tax here


When will the next local elections take place?
Elections to the new West Northamptonshire Council, the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, and for a number of town and parish councils will take place on 6 May 2021. Find out more information about the elections on 6 May


I notified you of a change in my circumstances – why is it is not included on my bill?
The bills were produced on 23 February, so any change that had not been updated on our system by then will not show on your bill. You will received a revised demand notice once our system has been updated with the change. If you have made a payment after that date then this will also not show on the annual demand notice dated 11 March 2021.


My bill says that there is also a balance due for other financial years. Is that amount included in the instalments for the new financial year?
No, the instalments only cover the amount due for the new financial year. You must pay the previous year’s amounts separately.


More information

If your question is not answered above, please contact us for more information