East Renfrewshire councillors' embroiled in tax shame

Three East Renfrewshire councillors have been in arrears with their council tax during the past 10 months, a freedom of information request has revealed.

Three elected officials have been in arrears in the past 10 months
Three elected officials have been in arrears in the past 10 months

The council, while confirming the information to The Extra, has refused to identify the names of those involved, citing Data Protection laws.

Despite being advised of a 2016 Upper Tribunal ruling issued by a Judge that Data Protection exemptions could not apply, the council still refused to reveal the names.

The legal case centred on the fact that when a councillor is in arrears with his or her council tax, they are legally prevented from voting in council debates, and by default, cannot represent their constituents.

A spokesperson for the council said: “We have one of the highest council tax collection rates in Scotland and the amount collected is rising year-on-year. We have clear processes in place to manage any instances of council tax arrears however it would not be appropriate to comment on any individual cases.

“If an elected member is two or more months in council tax arrears at the time of any meeting where council tax or the administration of council tax is being discussed this must be declared and they are subsequently unable to vote on these matters.”