Merton Council has created a facility to allow Council Tax and Rent payers and people paying other bills to pay using the Internet.

From 1 April residents will be able to use the facility 24 hours a day, seven days a week and make payments with their credit or debit cards. Merton is one of only a handful of local authorities to offer this service.

A link to this facility can be found from Merton’s homepage at http://www.merton.gov.uk

As well as the virtual cash office, a new automated telephone system will also be available for people wishing to pay Council Tax, service charges and parking fines anytime day or night simply by calling 020 8545 3518. All other payments should continue to be made by calling 020 8545 3519.

Director of Financial Services, Mike Parsons, said: “We are pushing forward the Government’s requirement for 100 per cent of Electronic Service Delivery by 2005. Payment using the Internet is just one part of our strategy to achieve that target.

Mr Parsons added: “It is intended that all of the Council’s service deliveries will be examined to see which parts can be provided electronically in addition to the current method of delivery.

“It is hoped that during the coming year a number of the forms provided by the Council across the entire range of its activities will become available on the web to those who want them provided in that manner. With the increasing use of the Internet I am sure that a large number of our customers will benefit from this new service.”