A resident from Byker has won the council’s latest iPad competition after registering to pay his council tax by Direct Debit.

John Boby who registered after being fed up of having to phone every month to make his council tax payment, decided it was much more convenient by Direct Debit instead.

John said “It was a nice surprise when the council called to tell me I’d won. Paying my council tax by direct debit is so much easier. I don’t have to worry every month now whereas before I’d have to remember to phone up and make sure the payment was made on time.”

The competition which ran up until 31 May 2017, is part of a drive to encourage residents with a bank account to sign up for Direct Debit – so far over 70% of council tax payers are signed up.

Transaction costs associated with other means of payment such as debit card payments, cheques and payments at PayPoints are significantly higher for the council. It also means fewer calls to the council which allows council staff to help customers with other queries regarding council tax accounts.

Cllr Veronica Dunn, Cabinet Member for Resources who presented the prize to John, said “It’s great to present these prizes to our residents who are also benefiting from the convenience of paying by Direct Debit. John now has the peace of mind to know his payments are being made on time at a date of his choosing.

“Direct Debit is also the most convenient and cost effective way for the council to collect money. Over 70% of council tax payers are now paying by Direct Debit and hopefully we can get more residents signed up.”

The easiest way for council tax payers to set up a Direct Debit is to visit www.newcastle.gov.uk/directdebit or phone 0191 2787878 and ask for council tax.

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