Concern over ‘no cash’ system

Cleckheaton Town Hall. (D541D414)

Cleckheaton Town Hall. (D541D414)

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Kirklees Council is looking to phase out cash and cheque bill payments at Spenborough Town Hall to cut costs.

Cleckheaton councillors Kath and Andrew Pinnock probed Kirklees about the plans after hearing rumours.In an email to Kath Pinnockthe council revealed it wanted to only accept direct debit and card, online and mobile phone app payments.

Other methods, such as PayPal, are also being considered – but only the Post Office would take cash or cheques for bills like council tax.

Kirklees Council have budgeted for a £200,000 a year saving. Of the 24,417 transactions specifically at the Cleckheaton kiosk in 2013/14, around £1m was taken in cash and £600k on debit cards. Processing direct debit transactions costs 1.7p and £1 for cash payments.

But the councillors think that with Scholes Post Office shut, and Cleckheaton’s service being so busy, people who still need to pay in traditional ways will feel the brunt.

Coun Kath Pinnock (Lib Dem) said: “The fact is, not everybody runs their lives like that. If you are on benefits or basic state pension, you tend to organise your life around cash.”

She thinks the new system, thought to be rolled out by April, will lead to people falling behind on payments.

This would lead to the council forking out to send letters to those who have not paid, she said. “How do people re-organise their lives in that time scale? When you are a council and dealing with people who have to pay those bills, you have to be able to accommodate them.”