Council backtracks on demand for just 10p

Paul with his letter summoning him to pay 10p or face court
Paul with his letter summoning him to pay 10p or face court

WIGAN Council has come under fire after sending out a bill ... for 10p.

Paul Greenwood, 35, of Wigan, bought a window from Metrolite Industries, costing £179.80 and paid using a keypad service over the phone.

Several days later he received a bill from Wigan Council, which runs the workshop. The notice stated he had underpaid by 10p and needed to pay the sum or face court.

Whilst Mr Greenwood, who is an Evening Post photographer, was happy to pay, he was shocked at the amount of money wasted for such a small amount.

He said: “I made a genuine error using the automated system. Now Wigan Council is trying to collect 10p from me, but it has cost more to print the letter and post it than the value of my bill. A second class stamp costs 36p, plus there is the paper, ink and staff time. I can understand that if everyone in the borough underpaid by 10p, it would cost the council a lot of money, but I would have thought there was a more cost-effective way of reminding people to pay up.”

Wigan Council said the letter had been sent in error but said if everyone underpaid by 10p, the council would lose a significant amount of cash, running into thousands.

Head of finance Andrew Taylor said: “Unfortunately, the recent letter sent to Mr Greenwood was part of an automated reminder process. We hold our hands up when we make a mistake and on this occasion the letter should not have gone out.

“Although it may seem like a waste of time and money to send out bills for small amounts the council in common with other organisations has a commitment to send bills for amounts similar to this.”