Now that we have moved to their accounting and financial systems, Powys CC will be taking over the invoicing and collection of the School’s out of area transport fees.
In due course parents who pay these will therefore receive an invoice from Powys CC showing the 2017 Summer Term fees plus any outstanding balance owing from the Autumn 16 and Spring 17 bills already issued. This amount will have taken account of all monies paid to the School up to the end of February whether by Standing Order, cash, cheque or card, either as one off payments or as instalment payments as agreed with the School. If parents have made arrangements with the School for paying by instalments, these arrangements will cease at the end of February and parents will need to contact Powys CC if they wish to make new payment arrangements - see below.
The invoice will indicate how payment may be made which will include:
- Payment by Direct Debit
- Payment by Debit/Credit Card
- Over the Internet (http://payments.powys.gov.uk)
- Over the phone - either to an officer or via the automated telephone payment system.
- Payment at a Post Office.
- Payment at a Pay-Point outlet.
Whichever method parents choose, payment must reach the Council by the due date, which is 30 days from the issue date of the invoice. The Council actively encourages people to make immediate contact if they are having difficulty paying their invoices. Below, for parents’ information, is an extract from their policy covering non payment, late payment and making arrangements to pay.
Please note that if parents have any queries about paying the invoice they must contact Powys CC, not the School – details will be available on the invoice.
However, if parents believe that sums they have paid to the School have not been accounted for in the invoice, please raise this with the Business Manager, by telephoning the School or by emailing on firstname.lastname@example.org.
The invoices for transport over the 2017/18 school year will be raised on a termly basis, as has been done before, so that parents will not be faced with one bill for the whole year.
EXTRACT FROM POWYS CC
SUNDRY DEBTORS INVOICING, COLLECTION AND RECOVERY PROCEDURES
When Customers do not pay
Powys County Council believes in pursuing recovery of all debt types, but will also seek to ensure that the manner in which this is undertaken is fair and consistent to everyone, and reasonable based on debtors known circumstances. If there is a genuine problem facing the customer Powys will engage and establish an appropriate way forward. However, customers who deliberately delay, fail to make payments, or do not keep to agreed arrangements, will be subject to a robust recovery procedure.
Businesses - Under the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998, the Council is able to charge interest on late payments when both parties are acting as businesses. Interest is charged 30 days after the date of the invoice at the rate of 8% over the Bank of England base rate.
Paying for Care in Care Homes – Under the Care and Support (Deferred Payment) (Wales) Regulations 2015 where there is a “deferred payment agreement” Council is able to charge compound interest and reasonable administrative costs for setting up and operating an agreement.
Powys County Council reserves the right to charge interest in accordance with the above Regulations.
Making an arrangement to pay
When a customer is genuinely struggling to meet their commitment, the Council will consider making an arrangement so as to enable the debt to be re-paid in full, within agreed time limits. The Council will consider:
- The Department for Works and Pensions recommended amounts.
- Statutory deduction sums in relation to attachment of earnings.
- What would be a reasonable sum, taking account of individual circumstances, such as residual income.
Customer Welfare and members of a Vulnerable Group
Powys County Council is obliged to pursue recovery of all debt type and endeavours to apply a fair and consistent approach to all customers, regardless of age, gender, personal circumstance etc.
During various forms of contact, including, social worker, telephone calls and written communication, received either directly from the customer or a 3rd Party Organisation working on behalf of the customer, the Council will endeavour to establish whether the customer falls into any of the categories that may deem the customer as a vulnerable person.
When The Council determines that a customer is a vulnerable person it will determine the best way to proceed to collect outstanding monies. The Council will endeavour to do all it can to assist the customer in establishing a way forward. This may be to invite the customer for a personal interview, or visit them in their home, to establish if there is an appointee with whom the Council can deal directly with or if a “care-of” address can be organised to send communication to.
Whilst not exhaustive, the Council considers the following as examples of members of a vulnerable group
- Elderly - the customer appears to be over 70 years of age and it appears may be easily confused by correspondence and financial matters.
- Disabled - this includes both mental and physical disability but does not include very minor disabilities.
- Long term sickness or serious illness including the terminally ill - this includes any illnesses that affect the customer’s ability to pay or deal with their own affairs.
- Family bereavement - if the customer or their partner has suffered a recent bereavement of a close member of their family.
- Communication difficulties - where there are genuine and clear communication barriers, e.g. language difficulties, hearing impairments, visual impairments, learning disabilities, etc.
- Young children in deprived household - if there are children aged 3 years or under and signs of social deprivation.
- Pregnancy - if the customer or their partner is in the latter stages of pregnancy, or has just given birth