TWO Oxfordshire councils collected millions more in council tax after transforming the way they collect the money from households.

Vale of the White Horse District Council and South Oxfordshire District Council have been working with Capita Local Government on a digital transformation of their revenues services.

New digital initiatives have included a drive to promote direct debit payments for council tax, electronic billing and a new online portal to manage bills.

As a result , more than 80 per cent of residents now use direct debit payments and 22,000 people are now using the electronic billing system.

The councils say this reduces the risk of residents falling into arrears as well as helping to save money by making the system easier for staff to manage, allowing them to focus on more complex issues.

Vale of White Horse collected £7.4 million extra in council tax in 2016 compared with 2014, while South Oxfordshire collected an additional £6.8 million over the same period, with the digital programmes thought to be one of the reasons behind the increases.

Councillor Matthew Barber, leader of Vale council, said: "By ensuring people pay their bills on time it protects the public purse and means more money is available to support our vital services."