New text messaging service to help residents with bills

Councillor Wasim Ali with Sue Knowles, Sandwell Council's Head of ICT & Revenues and Benefits Services.

Sandwell Council is launching a text messaging service to help people keep on top of their council tax bills and get the welfare support they need.

The service will also reduce the number of paper messages and reminders the council has to post out, helping to save money for frontline services.

The council’s revenues and benefits team has recently started texting people details of welfare awards. For example, vouchers are sent to people by text to use at food banks to collect food parcels.

From early September, residents who have given their phone number to the council will start receiving text reminders if they have overdue council tax bills.

The texts – which come from ‘Sandwell MBC’ – will include links for people to pay bills online and avoid further reminders and court summonses.

Texts will also be sent to residents and businesses before a council tax or business rates summons is issued. Councillor Wasim Ali, the council’s cabinet member for resources and core services, said:

“Most of us now manage our day-to-day lives using a mobile phone and texting is a quick and simple way to get in touch with people.

“This text messaging service will help our residents manage their finances – from reminding them about an overdue council tax bill to letting them know about the welfare support they are entitled to.

“Texting saves time and money for both the council and our customers, cutting down on paper and postage as well as phone calls, journeys and face-to-face contact.

“We are committed to supporting people who face financial challenges to help them cope and avoid debt, while also making sure money owed to the council is paid on time.”

From employment support to benefits and budgeting advice, there’s lots of information available at the council’s Resilient Residents webpage at


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