Published1 hour ago
A council has said sorry to a recent widower after sending him a letter telling him he was dead.
South Norfolk Council told Stuart Dobson, 77, it was “sorry to hear” he had died and informed him he could get a council tax exemption.
It came just one month after his wife of 54 years, Ann, had died.
Replying to the letter to convince them he was alive had caused him “distress”, he said, for which the council apologised.
Mr Dobson said the letter had added to his stress at a time when he was already suffering, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.
Mr Dobson responded to the council, calling officials “ill-informed”.
“I have been up there to give them a letter, I’ve hand-delivered it to the council, telling them, ‘Do I look dead to you?’
“It’s an utter shambles, they’re asking me to fill in forms when they think I’m dead, it doesn’t make sense. I don’t need this at all,” he said.
In his letter to the council, Mr Dobson (deceased), wrote: “I have today received an ill-informed letter from you telling me that I have passed away.
“It occurs to me that only the [council] would write to a deceased person and ask them to fill in a council tax form. One doubts their sanity and rational thinking when taking such an action.”
A council spokesman said: “The council has apologised to Mr Dobson for the mistake made when updating our records following the death of Mrs Dobson, and we regret that our mistake has caused Mr Dobson upset at this difficult time.
“We have reviewed what happened and unfortunately this was a case of human error for which we are deeply sorry.”
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