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Council tax exemption for young people leaving care system

James Harrison

Young people leaving the care system will have their council tax bills torn up under new plans.

The scheme, which was given the green light by cabinet last night (Tuesday), would give an automatic exemption to those aged 18-21 living in the Royal Borough.

This could also be extended to those aged up to 25, at the council’s discretion.

Cllr Natasha Airey (Con, Park), cabinet member for children’s services, said it would ‘ensure the best start our care leavers can have in life’.

The proposal was prompted by the 2015 Wolf at the Door report by the Children’s Society, which claimed young people were particularly vulnerable to falling into council tax debt after moving into independent accommodation.

A consultation will now be carried out ahead of implementation from August.

The original plan intended for this to then be backdated to April 1, but it will now be set back to June 2016.

The meeting also approved a new Empty Homes Action Plan, which will seek to bring more than 600 vacant properties back into use through a range of services.

It was confirmed that designs for a new leisure centre at Braywick are to be unveiled in July.

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