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Cheques no longer accepted as form of payment

Jonathan Irving

Jonathan Irving

Posted on 30 April 2020

Residents are being reminded that cheques are no longer be accepted as a form of payment to Allerdale Borough Council.

The decision, which came into effect from April 1, 2020, applies to all cheques sent through the post – or presented in person - to the council’s head office, Allerdale House, Workington and those presented at the area offices in Keswick, Cockermouth, Wigton and Maryport. Currently, all of Allerdale’s offices are closed to members of the public to protect residents and staff from the coronavirus.

The number of customers who choose to pay for services or pay their council tax bill by cheque has been in decline for several years with the latest figures showing a 59 per cent drop since 2011. In total 94 per cent of people in Allerdale choose to pay in other ways than cheques and four out of five households pay for their council tax by Direct Debit.

Residents who wish to continue using cheques can take their council tax bill and payment to a post office. Alternatively, cash payments can be made at PayPoint outlets which are located in many newsagents, supermarkets and convenience shops across the borough. There are PayPoint facilities in each of Allerdale’s seven towns.

The council asks that anyone choosing to make payments in person at a supermarket, corner shop or other location only doe so where it is safe to do so.

Jim Lister, Allerdale’s Executive member for finance and legal, said:

“The decision to stop accepting cheques will bring financial savings for the council. Each cheque currently costs the council about £10 to process and therefore by not consuming this cost the savings can be used to protect vital services across the borough and keep our portion of council tax as low as possible.”

As a council it is recommended that customers pay their council tax by Direct Debit, that way payments are requested automatically by the bank, so there's no risk of missing a payment. 

Direct debits, for council tax or business rates, can be set up via our website, or by calling one of our customer service advisers.

If you bank online, you can set up a standing order or one-off payment from your account. You will need our sort code and account number which is printed on the back of your council tax bill.

Customers can also make payments through our website – www.allerdale.gov.uk – using a debit or credit card 24 hours a day, seven days a week and on our automated telephone payments line – 0303 123 1702.