Question marks over town council budget after non-payment of tax

Norfolk Original Andreas Yiasimi on Cromer Pier.Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Norfolk Original Andreas Yiasimi on Cromer Pier.Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Cromer Town Council revealed its affairs have been called into question after it emerged one of its members had faced legal action for non-payment of council tax.

Earlier this month, it was revealed that Councillor Andreas Yiasimi was served with two liability orders by North Norfolk District Council (NNDC), on which he also represents the parish of Cromer, for failing to pay council tax totalling £3287.40 between 2014 and 2016.

However, while the local authority confirmed the money has been repaid, it has now emerged he may have voted on the town council's budget when he was not entitled to.

The Liberal Democrat councillor was forced to apologise for causing the town council embarrassment while investigations continue. However, members heard there was no onus on him to resign.

Councillor David Pritchard revealed he had been accosted in the street by members of the public, who questioned whether he had paid his council tax, after the revelation first came to light.

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He took Councillor Yiasimi to task after he initially failed to mention the non-payment issues in his monthly report.

Councillor Pritchard, who asked if he had any intention to resign, said: 'It actually became an embarrassment for me. As a council we sometimes have a laugh about certain things but this is a very serious matter.'

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NNDC revealed it took action against four of its councillors for non-payment of council tax - just months after they voted themselves a 23pc pay rise.

However, while Councillor Yiasimi revealed he was advised that he could not and did not vote on the district council's budget, he admitted he was not advised that the same rules applied to a vote on the town council's budget.

Councillor Yiasimi, who gave no indication that he planned to step down, said: 'I am deeply sorry to anyone who may feel embarrassed by my late payment and I would like to take this opportunity to apologise to the people of Cromer.

'I have also asked NNDC to investigate what can be done in future to reduce the risk of a repeat.'

Town council clerk Julie Chance revealed she was investigating whether Councillor Yiasimi was in arrears when members approved their last budget and whether the vote should not have take place.

Councillor Tim Bartlett added: 'Every step is being taken to ensure everything is in order.'

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