Letter to my MP on Council Tax corruption

We have a right and duty to push back against outlaws in positions of authority

This all ends when people say no

I have never written to an MP before, but just sent this email to my local one. By locating the matter in his realm of concern (sustaining funding for local services) as well as mine (rule of law and elimination of corruption), I hope to have a chance of getting engagement. I have also made the “ask” very simple and easy, with no requirement to tie it to my case. I may be “controversial”, but the underlying issue of due process is one that affects us all. I wrote a far longer letter, asked ChatGPT to shorten it, and then edited the result. The final product is far punchier than anything I could have produced on my own.

Dear Mr. Howell,

I am writing to bring to your attention a recent High Court decision regarding Council Tax and to highlight my ongoing issue with Durham County Council. This matter has significant implications and could be one of the most substantial corruption scandals since World War II, with the potential to financially destabilise local authorities across the country. I believe it’s crucial for you as an MP to be aware of and take action on this matter, as it could significantly impact your constituents in the near future.

On 21st September, the High Court in KBD Swansea ruled in favour of Mr. Leighton, awarding him £4,000 against debt collectors Bristow and Sutor, who were acting in conjunction with the City of York Council. The case exposed an unlawful Council Tax debt collection process for which Mr. Leighton was entitled to damages.

What’s even more critical than the precedent set is the judge’s comments as reported by campaigner Mr. Patterson on social media. His Lordship Harrisson condemned the process of obtaining Council Tax liability orders, called for reform, and raised concerns about their validity, suggesting they do not constitute true court orders. Council Tax liability orders, it appears, operate within an administrative framework that lacks genuine legal authority.

Legal references from Halsbury’s Laws of England and past judgments by Lord Denning and Lord Chief Justice Widgery support the notion that administrative courts operating outside the Civil Procedure Rules and without judicial oversight are unlawful. This revelation has far-reaching consequences, as local authorities may have to refund all Council Tax liability order cases ever awarded, potentially collapsing revenues and local government systems.

I have always paid my Council Tax demand notices in the past, including to Durham County Council in 2021. However, recognising the potential unlawfulness of the Council Tax debt enforcement process, I decided to test it for the 2022 year by not paying the demand notice. When I received a “notification of liability order,” I responded with a conditional acceptance to pay, subject to proof of claim of a lawful court order existing. This should have been a straightforward administrative matter, as they are making the claim, but Durham County Council chose to ignore my request for due process and engage in an unlawful campaign of intimidation to force payment.

Durham County Council’s refusal to acknowledge my request for due process constitutes a serious violation of my rights, including those protected by statutes like Observance of due Process of Law (1368), the Human Rights Act (1998), the Fraud Act (2006), as well as international obligations such as the ICPPR and ECHR. Their use of illegitimate private tribunals, masquerading as courts of law, to extort money with support from the Ministry of Justice, magistrates’ courts, and the police is deeply troubling.

The criminal trespasses by Durham County Council against me mean I am unable to live in peace in my own home, which affects my mental health. I have tried various avenues, including the council’s complaints process, cease-and-desist notices, and contact with Durham Constabulary, to seek justice and due process but to no avail. Now, I am about to pursue legal action inspired by Mr. Leighton, and the principles involved are of great significance to others who may face similar issues of due process.

As my MP, I have a specific request for you. I would like you to write to Durham County Council’s Section 151 officer and inquire about their process for providing proof of claim when sending out a notice of a liability order and facing a challenge. If they lack such a process, rejecting the concept of due process, it poses a significant problem — of national significance. I have been stonewalled at every turn in this quest.

Council Tax reform has been a topic of discussion in Parliament, and I believe it is appropriate for you to also inquire with the relevant authority, likely the Treasury, about contingency plans in case the Council Tax system collapses due to unlawful administrative courts. We need to maintain lawful local government funding processes.

If you would like to meet to discuss this matter further, I am available, as my home is in close proximity to your constituency office.


Martin Geddes

I will keep you informed of progress! This whole area stinks, and I am hoping it gets swept away in a wider financial collapse and restart process. It is rather saddening we live in a society that has degraded to a point where we need to give our life force to fighting these kind of elementary issues of rule of law, yet here we are.