People in Leeds owe £36.3 million in unpaid Council Tax - new figures have revealed.
Residents in the Leeds local authority area owed £36,274,000 in the unpaid bills at the end of March 2015, according to the data from a submission to the Department for Communities and Local Government.
The figure, which is equivalent to an average of £106 per dwelling, is up from £31,483,000 on the previous year, placing Leeds in the top 10 per cent of local authorities for Council Tax arrears in England in 2014/15.
Now a national debt charity is urging people to get free advice if they are struggling to keep up with their payments.
National Debtline, the free advice service run by the Money Advice Trust, says the figure is evidence that too few residents who are struggling to keep up with Council Tax bills are receiving the free debt advice they need.
The service took 1,053 calls for help with debt from the Leeds area last year.
Joanna Elson, Money Advice Trust chief executive, said: “We are seeing more and more people seek help with Council Tax arrears but the fact that Leeds residents owe £36.3 million makes us concerned that many more people in the area are struggling alone. Free debt advice services such as National Debtline are here to help. We would like to see local authorities do everything they can to help residents who are falling behind to seek the free advice that can turn their lives around.”
National Debtline can be reached online at www.nationaldebtline.org and on 0808 808 4000.