Two special information gathering exercises are being undertaken on behalf of the Isle of Wight Council from this week – to better understand where static mobile homes are being used as main homes, and to ascertain the status of empty properties.
A company called Capacity Grid will be acting on behalf of the council and contacting static mobile home owners and site owners as part of one exercise – and empty property owners as part of the other.
For the static mobile home exercise, Capacity Grid inspectors will visit sites to talk to site owners and static mobile home owners – and will present proper identification to confirm they are working on the council’s behalf.
Under the Local Government Act 1992, the council has a duty to collect council tax from anyone with their main residence on the Island – and the exercise is part of a process to ensure that everyone who should be paying council tax is doing so.
The exercise is about establishing if a static mobile home is being used as a main residence and should therefore be rated for council tax purposes – this is not related to checking licensing or planning conditions on sites.
In relation to the empty residential property exercise, Capacity Grid will be undertaking data matching to help update the council’s information/records, which will then assist with identifying ‘actual’ empty properties and enable the process of returning them to occupation.
Executive member with responsibility for housing, Councillor Steve Stubbings, said: “These two exercises are about ensuring the council has the latest and most accurate data in relation to liability for council tax payment and the status of empty properties.
“By gathering this data it is hoped the council will be able to maximise its effectiveness in gathering council tax and in turn improve its under-pressure financial resources – which are, of course, crucial to delivering key services to Island residents.
“Additionally, we will be able to identify more empty properties which can be returned to use for the benefit of Island residents. Both exercises may also assist in helping the council to attract additional funding by way of the government’s new homes bonus scheme.”
Council officers will be working with Capacity Grid in relation to the project, and if any members of the public would like more information on either of the two exercises they should contact: revenues manager, Vicki Guildford (email: email@example.com) or empty property practitioner, Will Taylor (email: firstname.lastname@example.org) on (01983) 823901.