Published on 5th May 2011

People living on their own in Cheltenham and receiving the single person discount on their council tax will be asked if they are still entitled to receive it.

The review is being carried out by Cheltenham Borough Council of more than 19,000 people who currently get the 25% discount.

The move is part of a county-wide 'sweep' by all six district councils, the police and Gloucestershire County Council. Similar exercises are taking place in Gloucester, Tewkesbury, Forest of Dean, Stroud and Cotswolds.

It is aimed at making sure that everyone who claims is entitled to the discount. Where these reviews have been undertaken in other parts of the country they have resulted in substantial increase in income as a result of people ceasing to claim.

Mark Sheldon, director of resources commented:  "The council has a legal and social responsibility to make sure that it collects all the council tax so that everyone in Cheltenham gets value for money. Any discounts that are given reduce the amount of revenue we are able to collect. It is important that we make sure only those people that are due to get a discount are awarded one."

The review will specifically target residents whose circumstances differ from those recorded on the council's systems and who may therefore no longer be eligible for the discount. It is being carried out as part of the council's policy to crack down on fraud and corruption.

Anyone who wants to check and make sure that they are claiming correctly or notify a change of circumstances can contact the council tax helpline  at the council on 01242 264161 or email [email protected]

At the same time anyone who lives on their own and isn't receiving the discount should contact the helpline to find out if they are entitled to it.

For media enquiries, contact: Katie Sandey, communications team leader, telephone 01242 775050, email [email protected]