RESIDENTS across Taunton Deane and West Somerset will still be asked to pay their Council Tax as the Covid-19 outbreak unfolds.

While Somerset West and Taunton Council has closed its offices, it still continues to work behind the scenes providing essential services to residents across the district.

No government advice has been issued surrounding Council Tax so far - but council leader Federica Smith-Roberts said things can change quickly while the situation is dealt with.

Cllr Smith-Robert said: "One of the questions we have been asked is whether or not there are plans to suspend Council Tax.

"At present, we are not looking to do that.

"Things may change, as you can tell, there's different updates coming out all the time.

"Just so everyone is aware, we collect around £9million a year in Council Tax. That goes to providing some of the services that we as a district council run for you.

"We get many other ways of funding but that £9million does go towards some of the services we provide, one example would be the waste collection service, so that we can provide your recycling and picking up your black bins."

Help is out there for those who need it, as the council leader urges people to get in touch if they are struggling.

The council is awaiting further guidance on providing more business support.

She added: "At present we don't have plans to suspend that because we are going to continue to do what we can to provide the services that you as a community need during this unprecedented crisis and to continue to provide the support to our most vulnerable residents and businesses.

"We may even have to look to change the way we provide services or to increase the services that we provide.

"What I will say is that I understand it is a very uncertain time for residents and businesses. I appreciate there will be those going into difficulty and there are already challenges there.

"We already run a council tax support scheme, you can find more details on our website, have a look there or give our office a call and we can guide your through to see if you're eligible to claim that.

"With regards to business rates, and the support in the government announcement that has come out. We are still waiting for guidance to trickle down from central government on how we implement that. We are working behind the scenes so as soon as that advice is given as to how we roll that out, we will be ready to do so.

"If you have got any concerns, go to our website, or where you can find the latest advice."

Visit for more information.