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“Taking this case to court was quite a drastic action, when you consider the low amount involved. However, we did offer Mr Rammell an administrative penalty of £91, on top of paying back the overpayment, which we felt was more proportionate. But, because he refused to pay the penalty, we started proceedings against him. This is unfortunate because he now has a criminal conviction and a greater amount to pay. “We decided to instigate court proceedings against Mr Perry, because he failed to attend a number of interviews council officers had set up to try to resolve the case. We also offered him an administrative penalty of £403, which he refused to pay. “These two cases highlight the need to tell us as soon as something in your life changes that could change the amount of housing or council tax benefit you’re entitled to.”Anyone who wants to tell Lichfield District Council about a change in their circumstances can call 01543 308900.