STRUGGLING residents who owe money to Tendring Council are being warned they face higher debt collection charges from next month.

Next month will see the end of bailiffs knocking on doors as a new scheme is introduced.

They will be replaced by enforcement agents from April 6 which will see higher charges set by the Government.

Council benefits boss Paul Honeywood said: “People will soon know exactly what charge they will face if they owe council tax,” he said.

“However, these charges have been set higher than we expected, so beware.”

The enforcement agents will charge those who owe money to the council £75 once there is a court order to chase a debt.

They will try to contact the person to get the cash in full or to set up a payment arrangement. But if that fails they can charge another £235 if they need to visit the address.

Mr Honeywood urged anyone owing council tax who has no payment arrangement in place to contact the council tax department on 01255 686209.