Star turn for money savers

Vikki Barton with fellow Kirkby Drive residents Neil Anderson, Christine Anderson, Ann Gilbert, Alan Cale and Christine Alderson. (1303102AM3)
Vikki Barton with fellow Kirkby Drive residents Neil Anderson, Christine Anderson, Ann Gilbert, Alan Cale and Christine Alderson. (1303102AM3)

Homeowners on a Ripon street have made a star appearance on a popular TV show after paying too much council tax for 20 years.

Tax advisor Vikki Barton, of Kirkby Drive, drafted in the help of money saving expert and TV personality Martin Lewis to help her neighbours check if they were paying the wrong amount of council tax.

“It is so easy and straightforward in this climate to check whether your house is in the right council tax band,” she told the Gazette.

Mrs Barton, 39, encouraged her neighbours to see if they were viable for rebanding in a ‘Check and Challenge’ initiative, after she received a refund in 2007 for paying band E council tax when her home is classed as a band D property.

“My husband joked that I am like a female version of Martin Lewis!” said the mum-of-two. “It was absolutely fab to have Martin and his team here. I have always been a big fan.”

Mrs Barton’s neighbour Ann Gilbert, 78, was issued a four figure rebate when she discovered her three bedroom bungalow was in the wrong tax band. “I didn’t know anything about it until Vikki told me. She was marvellous and I couldn’t have done it myself. She is a community champion,” she said.

Kirkby Drive resident Christine Alderson, 71, managed to reband her detached four bedroom house from an F band to an E band, saving up to £400 a year. “It was great meeting Martin,” she told the Gazette.

Many homes in the city may still be in the wrong band following the Government’s introduction of a new council tax system in 1993.

l The Martin Lewis Money Show will go on air on Thursday, March 21 at 8.30pm on ITV1. The first show is based in Ripon.