COUNCIL tax rebate payments of £150 have begun to be issued to Oldham residents after calls for the money to be sent at the same time as other Greater Manchester councils.

In February, the central government announced a national council tax rebate for households in property bands A to D to help with growing energy bills.

Legally all councils must make rebate payments to all eligible residents from April 2022 and by September 2022 at the latest.

On Tuesday, May, 10 Oldham Council announced on social media that it had made the ‘necessary arrangements' for the payments to be issued and they had begun to be paid directly into the bank accounts of people who pay their council tax by Direct Debit.

The update came after multiple residents took to social media to demand the payments were made this month.

In response to Cllr Amanda Chadderton being picked as the new leader of Oldham Council on Monday one resident Tweeted: “Can you please amend/reverse some mistakes from previous leaders” adding: “Get the £150 energy payment made in May as per other Manchester councils.”

An Oldham Council spokesperson has now said the ‘majority’ of payments will be issued this month.

The spokesperson said: “We know how important this payment is to our residents and our officers have been working incredibly hard over the last few months to ensure we could issue rebates to eligible households as quickly and as smoothly as possible.

“This has involved upgrading our systems to prevent residents experiencing any transaction failures when rebates are issued, something many other councils have done.

“We appreciate this has been frustrating, but we hope residents can understand we did not want to rush this process and get things wrong which would have caused unnecessary disruption.

“We have now begun making payments directly into the bank accounts of those who are eligible and pay their council tax by Direct Debit and we expect to issue the majority of these payments in May.”

The council will be sending letters to residents who are eligible for a rebate but do not pay their council tax by Direct Debit.

The letters are expected to arrive in June and will contain vouchers that can be used to redeem a cash payment from a local Post Office.

The authority has also warned that some payments to Direct Debit payers may need to undergo additional administrative checks to ensure payments go to the correct person which may involve the council writing a letter or email to clarify bank or Council Tax liability details.

The Government has also announced that a discretionary fund of £144million has been granted to 300 councils to potentially give £40 extra to help with bills.

For more information on the council tax rebate visit the Oldham Council website here.