KFTRA Delegates Meeting to discuss Mandatory Direct Debits

KFTRA Delegates Meeting to discuss Mandatory Direct Debits

Thursday April 4th at 1.30pm in Huddersfield Town Hall

KFTRA Statement on Mandatory Direct Debit – 20/03/13

After meeting with a KNH Board representative on Monday 18/03/13, KFTRA have taken the decision to defer the presentation of their petition opposing Mandatory Direct Debits for council tenants, until after a full KFTRA Delegates meeting on the subject to be held on Thursday April 4th at 1.30pm in Huddersfield Town Hall.

The reason for this is that KNH were under the misapprehension that KFTRA supported their position that ALL tenants should pay their rent by Direct Debit, which is not the case.

While KFTRA are happy to promote Direct Debit as the preferred means of collecting rents, they would still like to see a raft of payment options available to tenants.

Neither the KFTRA Management Committee, nor any other KFTRA meeting or any, outside body on which KFTRA has a representative has ever taken a vote to determine whether KFTRA are in favour  (or not) of mandatory Direct Debit.

KFTRA will be inviting Kirklees Council cabinet member Cllr Cathy Scott and officers from KMC and KNH to present their position on rent payments.

Then at the KFTRA Delegates meeting, representatives from the whole of the Kirklees Tenants movement will be asked to vote on the follwing.

A vote will be taken on whether the delegates are;

  1. Opposed to mandatory Direct Debit.
  2. In favour of a campaign to oppose compulsory rent payments by Direct Debit.

Of particular concern are the effects that mandatory Direct Debit would have on certain groups of people.

  • Older people who wish to continue to pay their rent at the Post Office.
  • Bankrupt people who cannot hold bank accounts
  • Vulnerable people who would find it difficult to budget a bank account.

KFTRA were also surprised that KMC sent out a letter to tenants informing them of the change to mandatory Direct Debits without discussing this with KFTRA beforehand. KFTRA were shocked at the tone of the letter which implied potential eviction for tenants if they fell behind in their rent payments by not paying by Direct Debit.

That this letter was sent out to elderly tenants who were not in arrears causing them great distress was shocking and we hope that an apology will be given and that steps will be taken to ensure that this mistake does not happen again.

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For more information contact Jill Long KFTRA co-ordinator on 01484 223466 or email jill.long@kftra.net

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