Bradford City Metropolitan Council v Anderton

JurisdictionEngland & Wales
CourtQueen's Bench Division
Judgment Date14 February 1991
Date14 February 1991

Queen's Bench Division

Before Mr Justice Hutchison

Bradford City Metropolitan Council

Community charge - merchant seaman - liability

Merchant seaman liabile for poll tax although at sea

A merchant ship plying the high seas could not in law constitute a person's residence. For poll tax purposes a merchant seaman's house on shore was his sole or main residence.

Mr Justice Hutchison so held in the Queen's Bench Division upholding an appeal by Bradford City Metropolitan Council against a decision of the West Yorkshire Valuation and Community Charge Tribunal to remove the name of Mr Neil Anderton from the community charge register in respect of his house in Silsden and ordering the return of poll tax he had paid in respect of it.

Section 2 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 provides: "(1) A person is subject to a charging authority's personal community charge on any day if . . . (b) he has his sole or main residence in the area of the authority at any time on the day . . . (c) he is not an exempt individual on the day . . . "(3) In deciding whether a person has his sole or main residence in an area, the fact that he does not live in a building is irrelevant.

Paragraph 14 of Schedule 1 provides "(1) A person is an exempt individual on a particular day if - (a) throughout the day he had no fixed abode in England and Wales or elsewhere, and (b) at the end of the day the place of his sole or main residence does not consist of a building, caravan or residential boat.

"(2) A residential boat is a boat which is designed or adapted for human habitation.

Mr Vincent Fraser for the council; Mr Dirik Jackson for the respondent.

MR JUSTICE HUTCHISON said Mr Anderton lived in the house only 70 days a year. For the remainder of the year he was a seafarer on the Atlantic Conveyor. The tribunal had decided having regard to his service record that his main residence was the Atlantic Conveyor and not his house in Silsden, Keighley, West Yorkshire.

The council contended that that decision was wrong in law because "sole or main residence" meant a person's usual dwelling place or abode. A sailor could not have his residence on the seas, the time spent on ship being for trade and not residence.

It also argued that the tribunal erred in taking account only of the relative lengths of time spent in the house and on the ship, when it should have taken account of all the circumstances of the case.

For Mr Anderton, it was contended that it was for the tribunal to...

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5 cases
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    • Bahamas
    • Supreme Court
    • 21 February 2001
    ...... The 1st plaintiff brings this action in his capacity as Personal Representative of Frederick Benjamin Johnson, ......
  • R (Williams) v Horsham District Council
    • United Kingdom
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 21 January 2004
    ...decision 13 The Tribunal attached importance to three decisions, which is it is necessary briefly to summarise. Bradford Metropolitan City Council v Anderton [1991] RA 45 concerned liability for Community Charge payable in respect of a person's sole or main residence. 14 The charge payer wa......
  • Bennett v Copeland Borough Council
    • United Kingdom
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 14 May 2004
    ...cases relied upon before him. Those cases were Frost (IT) v Feltham [1981] 1 WLR 452; Bradford Metropolitan City Council v Anderton [1991] 89 LGR 681; R (Navabi) v Chester Le Street District Council [2001] EWHC Admin 796; and Ward v Kingston upon Hull City Council [1993] RA 71. On the basis......
  • The Highland Council A Local Authority Constitute Under The Local Government Etc (scotland) Act 1994 Against A Decision Of Highland And Western Isles
    • United Kingdom
    • Court of Session
    • 5 August 2008
    ......, counsel drew our attention to several authorities, including Bradford Metropolitan City Council v Anderton [1991] RA45, which was concerned with ......
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