A RESIDENT vows he will take legal action against Tendring Council over “council tax harassment” unless he receives a written apology.

Martin Campbell, of Harbour Crescent, Harwich, claims he has paid his council tax bills, but said the council has sent him a payment reminder notice.

The 60-year-old said: “They sent me a reminder notice, which is not even signed or named, saying I’m not paying my council tax and there’s an outstanding balance of £32.

“The letter also says it’s the second reminder to pay my tax, but I pay my standing order of £81 at the end of every month, and this is the first reminder they have issued.

“The letter is quite distressing and accuses me of not paying council tax, saying I’m a late payer.

“It’s not the first time something like this has happened, so I have sent them a formal complaint via email demanding a written apology.

“I told them I view it as harassment and will be taking legal action against them.”

Mr Campbell claimed the council wanted to take him to court for an outstanding balance of 12p a few years ago - but no further action was taken after he spoke to staff from the council tax department.

He added: “I’ve just had enough of it now, enough is enough.”

A Tendring Council spokesman said the authority would not comment on individual cases.

“We have a duty to protect the public purse and to collect council tax to pay for services,” he added.

“The council reviews and monitors accounts monthly, and should a customer not pay in full, a reminder notice can be issued.

“These aim to prevent residents from getting into arrears, allowing them to pay and avoid further action which may incur additional costs.

“Where there has been a change in a resident’s council tax instalments and the payments being received do not reflect this – due possibly to a standing order amount not being updated or an old bill being used – the notice serves as a reminder this requires attention.

“If anyone is struggling to make a payment, then we encourage them to speak to us as soon as they can so possible payment options can be explored, or if out of business hours an online enquiry form can be completed on the council’s website.”