THOUSANDS of people who do not pay their council tax by direct debit will be sent letters asking them to apply for their £150 rebate online.

People who pay council tax by direct debit for band A to D homes have been receiving the one-off rebate in their bank accounts.

Councils are working to cater for those who don't and pay by other means, like cash or cheque.

Councillor Scott Durham was asked for an update on the matter at a Darlington Borough Council meeting.

The cabinet member for resources said: "45,000 households are going to benefit from the scheme.

"29,000 of those pay by direct debit.

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"I'm delighted to say that at this moment in time 96 percent of those residents have received their payment, which is 62 percent of the overall households who will benefit from the scheme.

"It's a very, very difficult scheme to administer.

"There is a challenge for those people who don't pay their council tax by direct debit."

The Northern Echo: Cllr Scott Durham. Picture: Darlington Borough Council.Cllr Scott Durham. Picture: Darlington Borough Council.

He said the council's team had been working "extremely hard" on this, reaching out to people and supporting residents.

He added: "They've had some bumps in the road outside of our control.

"They've had some software crashes which were due to upgrades provided by the software developer.

"But saying that, we are now in a position where very, very soon 16,000 residents will be receiving letters inviting them to apply online to the scheme."

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In a recent social media post, the council said: "Once the application form is live, we will start to write to people to invite an application.

"This will be done in phases to avoid overloading the website.

"People will not be able to apply until we have written to them, as the letter contains a unique security code that is required for the application.

"As always thank you to everyone for their patience - we are working our way through the thousands of rebates and everyone will receive their payment or their personal letter in due course."


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