TWO councils have taken the rare step of prosecuting people who failed to give them information relating to unpaid council tax.

South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse district councils have taken ten people to Oxford Magistrates Court after requests for personal information went unanswered.

The councils demanded details about their employment, income and savings after they failed to pay council tax.

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The individuals were warned it is a criminal offence for someone to not return this information.

People from Berinsfield, Milton, Abingdon and Didcot were among those convicted.

They were:

• Mr Sean Andrews, 56, of Loddon Avenue, Berinsfield

• Mr Hayley Boyd, 38, of Beaker Place, Milton

• Mrs Shanise Digweed, 24, of Faringdon Road, Stanford in the Vale

• Miss Marie Richardson, 43, of Austin Place, Abingdon

• Miss Charlotte Greener, 39, previously of High Street, Didcot

• Miss Wendy Hazell, 59, of Evenlode Drive, Berinsfield

• Mr Richard Smith, 34, of Wilding Road, Wallingford

• Mrs Sharon Smith, 40, of Wilding Road, Wallingford

• Mr Mathew Woodward, 34, of Brookside, Cholsey

• Mrs Samantha Woodward, 33, of Brookside, Cholsey

All the individuals were fined £110 and ordered to pay £100 costs and a £30 victim surcharge in addition to any debt they already owe.

David Dodds, cabinet member for finance at South Oxfordshire District Council, said: “This type of action is rarely taken by local authorities but, where we need to maximise collections to pay for services, we will not hesitate to take action against people who fail to comply with this statutory request.

"It is not fair on the residents who do pay and further non-cooperation could lead to further costs or, in some cases, even a prison sentence”