Local ratepayers to receive 2015-16 bills this week

Derry City and Strabane District Council Chief Executive John Kelpie.

Derry City and Strabane District Council Chief Executive John Kelpie.

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Home owners and businesses across the new Derry City and Strabane District Council area are to receive their rate bill for 2015/16 this week.

Your bill will show the amount due for the new billing period 2015/16, including any debt that may have been carried forward from previous years, along with any rate relief where applicable.

The Department of Finance and Personnel’s Land & Property Services (LPS) issue rate bills and collect monies on behalf of the NI Executive and local councils.

From this year, for the first time, each domestic ratepayer in Northern Ireland will receive a personalised annual rates statement with their bill.

This will give each household an indicative breakdown of what their rates are used for; for example, how much is spent on health, on education, on roads and other vital public services.

An LPS spokesperson said: “There are around 65,000 ratepayers in the new Derry City and Strabane District Council area and through the payment of their rates they help to fund the provision of a number of vital public services. This includes healthcare, education and roads as well as helping to fund a wide range of Council services and facilities, ranging from building control and bin control to tourism and local events.”

John Kelpie, Chief Executive of Derry City and Strabane District Council, explained that rates payments allow the Council to invest in a number of growth initiatives with the aim of improving services and facilities for citizens.

“The Council’s key focus is on economic, social and environmental regeneration with specific emphasis on the capital investment programme,” he said. “The Council is also working to develop the city and district’s festivals and events and growing business support alongside opportunities to sustain, promote and create jobs.”

Further information and guidance on rates is available at http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/rates or for non-domestic customers, at http://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/rates.