Council tax discretionary hardship relief

Council tax discretionary relief is intended to provide short term help to council tax payers who are suffering financial hardship.


You must be a council tax payer in Cheltenham to qualify. You can only apply for discretionary relief on your current council tax bill.

Criteria for making a claim

We will review each application on its own merits. We will consider these factors:

  • there must be evidence of financial hardship or personal circumstances that justify a reduction in council tax liability
  • the applicant's income and expenditure including unusual and/or avoidable expenditure
  • whether there are exceptional circumstances that contribute to the financial hardship
  • the applicant must demonstrate that all reasonable steps have been taken or will be taken to resolve the situation
  • entitlement to all other eligible discounts/reliefs/income/welfare benefits have been explored and are being claimed
  • the amount outstanding must not be the result of wilful refusal to pay or culpable neglect
  • the applicant does not have access to other assets that could be used towards their council tax liability
  • whether the situation can be resolved by some other legitimate means
  • whether an award will assist the applicant towards a position where they can pay their council tax within a reasonable time frame without further recourse to this discount
  • any social or health issues currently being faced by the resident and/or their immediate family
  • the effect the situation is having on vulnerable members of the resident's family (eg the elderly, the young, the infirm etc.)
  • other evidence in support of an application (such as information from doctors and/or social workers)
  • whether the applicant has asked for advice already, eg from Citizens' Advice
  • the size and banding of the current accommodation
  • the possibility of moving to a smaller and lower banded property
  • the lifestyle choices of the applicant and their household
  • whether there is a threat of court action in relation to council tax arrears.

How to apply 

To request a form please either call the helpline on 01242 264161 or email [email protected].