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Islington Council slammed after billing dead mum for 43p

PUBLISHED: 06:22 15 May 2015

Rosalind Newberry's mum died and the council have sent her a bill for 43p for the deceaced's council tax arrears.

Rosalind Newberry's mum died and the council have sent her a bill for 43p for the deceaced's council tax arrears.

Archant

A grieving woman was heartbroken when the town hall sent her a bill chasing her dead mum's debts - a grand total of 43p.

Rosalind Newberry was “so hurt and upset” when the paltry tax summons came through from Islington Council less than a week after her mother died.

Her mum – Angela Savoia – had lived in her Amwell Street home for 40 years without missing a payment, but the town hall demanded its pennies within days of her death.

Ms Newberry said: “Mum passed away the day after her 90th birthday on April 10.

“It happened at the dinner table, it was awful.

“It was like she’d just disappeared. She had an aneurysm. I was talking to her one minute and she was fine, then the next minute she started looking up at the ceiling.

“I went over to her and said ‘what’s wrong?’. She rested her head on my shoulder and that was it.

“I phoned the council to let them know because she’d been a tenant for 40 yeasr. I grew up in that house.

“A few days later this bill came through the post.

“I thought it was £43 at first – even that was upsetting.

“But when I showed it to my son, he said ‘Mum, it’s 43 pence, they’re coming after nanny for pennies’.”

Ms Newberry was told she had until May 17 to pay.

“What if I didn’t pay? Are they going to chase her in heaven?

“I still can’t believe it.

“In the end I paid it because I just want it to go away

“I keep looking at the bill like it’s not real.

“I feel so upset and hurt by it all.”

An Islington Council spokesman said: “We are very sorry for this council tax bill, which was sent out by mistake.

“There was 43p outstanding for council tax.

“Our practice in cases of bereavement is to ensure that we do not issue bills for small amounts. We are not aware of this ever happening before but unfortunately in this case we did accidentally send out a bill. We will write to the family to apologise.”

It’s not the first time the town hall has got in hot water over a bill to the bereaved.

In 2013, it apologised to a grieving son after it sent a £3.50 tax bill for the day his mother died – because she passed away before midnight.

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