Residents and companies in Bradford will be hit by bigger penalties if they do not pay their Council Tax or business rates on time.

From Sunday, April 6, the Government is increasing the fees that councils charge.

Bradford Council said cases were referred to court if reminders about late payments were ignored. Once a court order was obtained, the Council would start action, which could include a visit from a bailiff, for which the Council charges £24.50 for the first visit and £18 for any subsequent visit.

The new legislation sees bailiff fees replaced by a fixed compliance fee of £75. If payments are still not made, a bailiff visit will incur a £235 charge.

Bradford Council leader David Green said: “We do not want to have to take anyone to court over Council Tax non-payment and I would urge anyone with difficulties to contact the Council.”

The Council is reducing initial court costs for non-payment of Council Tax from £85 to £40, and from £100 to £50 for non-payment of business rates.