Guide to Camden Council Tax

ImageCredit: Selby Design

ImageCredit: Selby Design

Have you received your council tax bill? Unsure what to do next? We have compiled an easy step-by-step Council Tax Guide for you.

Identifying your circumstances

 You will receive a council tax bill by post. Below are explained the steps you need to follow depending on your circumstances.

Case 1: If you are a Full-time student

As a full-time student you can apply for council tax exemption.

Case 2: If you are a Part-time student

Part-time students are not subject to council tax exemption, but can claim a council tax discount.

Case 3: Full-time/Part-time student living with a non-student

The student can apply for exemption or a discount (as explained above). However, the non-student is required to pay the full amount specified on the council tax bill. Find out ways to pay below.

Applying for exemption or discount

In order to claim a student council tax discount or exemption (Case 1,2 and 3) you need to email a scanned copy of your original student certificate/confirmation of study letter in jpg or pdf format to revenues@camden.gov.uk. Please contact your university for this document.

You must put the council tax reference number found on your council tax bill in the subject line of the email you send.

Make sure that the student certificate contains the following information:

•    Name and address of University/College

•    Name of Student

•    Confirmation you are following a course of education

•    Start date of your course

•    End date of your course

•    Confirmation of the hours studied per week (including study, tuition or work experience).

Once your email is received, response will be sent. It usually takes up to 14 days.

Paying your council tax

Online

Go to www.camden.gov.uk. Select ‘Make payment’> ‘Council tax (pay online) and follow the instructions.

Phone

Call 020 7974 6104 and follow the automated menu.

By direct debit

Set up a direct debit and you don't have to remember to make your payment. You also have the reassurance of the direct debit guarantee.

For any further questions please feel free to contact, the International Hall Management by emailing info.ih@london.ac.uk.

 Please Note: This blog post serves merely as suggestions on what to do and should be treated as a substitute for information provided by the Camden Council. Please contact them for further information.

Teeth and Eyes

In a previous blog post, "What is the NHS?", it noted that dental and optician services are not included within the NHS. So where can you access these services? 

Dental Services

Some dental services may be included, dependent upon clinical assessment and judgement. Even those that are, still have charges to them. It is always important to discuss with your dentist what options are available and what fees are involved. 

Click here for a list of dental clinics near IH. 

Some universities may even have their own dental clinics. For example, if you are a UCL student, you can access the Dental Centre on 139 Euston Road. 

Image credit: CC via Flickr

Image credit: CC via Flickr

Eye Services

Another service not included within the NHS is eye care services. It is important to get your eyesight checked every two years. Specsavers has a lot of branches across London, including one in Brunswick Centre, right next to IH! They offer eye tests, glasses and contact lenses.

They often have vouchers and deals, including this voucher for a free eye test up until October 31st 2017: https://www.specsavers.co.uk/stores/brunswickcentre  

Additionally, Student Central (for University of London), has an optician centre: http://www.universityvision-ltd.co.uk/

 

Image credit: CC via Google Images

Image credit: CC via Google Images

Sexual Health Services

Starting university is such an exciting time in your life. You'll meet so many new people, and probably party quite a bit. It can also be a very sexually active time of your life. So it's important to remember to stay safe

The best sex is safe and consensual :) 

Image credit: NHS

Image credit: NHS

Sexually transmitted diseases and infections (STDs and STIs) 

Young adults (under the age of 25) are most likely to get an STI, so it is important to use condoms to prevent this as much as possible. 

Image credit: Brook.org.uk 

Image credit: Brook.org.uk 

Get tested!

If you are sexually active, it is good practice to get checked for STDs and STIs every 6 months. A lot of infections are asymptomatic, meaning that you could have them and spread them, without knowing because you may not realise it. 

Here's some sexual health services near IH, which offer FREE STD/STI/HIV tests and contraception: 

Mortimer Market Centrehttps://www.sexualhealth.cnwl.nhs.uk/clinics/mortimer-market-centre-including-margaret-pyke-centre/

Brookhttps://www.brook.org.uk/find-a-service/service/euston

You can also check with your GP what they can provide for you in terms of sexual health care. 

Boosting your Mental Health

Starting university can be an exciting time, but it can also be a very stressful time. StudentMinds is a UK Student Mental Health Charity, with lots of great resources, including this page on starting university. It gives lots of good tips and advice on how to cope with change and take care of yourself during this period. 

Image credit: Student Minds Charity

Image credit: Student Minds Charity

You're not alone

1 in 4 people in the UK experience mental health problems. 

In an NUS survey, 78% of students believed they experienced mental health problems in the preceding 12 months. 

The majority of students may experience stress, homesickness, anxiety and depression during their time at university. 

Image credit: Student Minds Charity

Image credit: Student Minds Charity

It's fine! 

There are many people and services around that can help you if you're not feeling well. At IH, the Warden's team is here to provide you with pastoral care 24/7. Although the members of this team aren't trained counsellors, they can provide a sympathetic ear and give you further advice on where to get help. 

Here is a list of places you can call or go to for mental health help: 

Samaritans - Call 116 123 to talk to someone. They accept calls 24/7 and are Free 

London Nightline - Call 0207 631 0101

Camden and Islington Psychological Services self-referral - icope.nhs.uk

Your GP is also there for your mental health, not just your physical health!

Your university may also have counselling services, so it is important to check with them or look on their websites. Here's a list of some of the University of London institutions' psychological services for students:

  1. University College London
  2. King's College London
  3. London School of Economics and Political Science
  4. Queen Mary
  5. SOAS
  6. City University
  7. Royal Academy of Music
  8. Goldsmiths

Here are a few links with useful advice on taking care of your mental health as a student:

1.  Looking after your mental well-being

2. Dealing with Exam Stress

3. Your Year Abroad

Of course, at any point, please feel free to reach out to the Warden's Team to discuss any issues regarding mental health or other concerns.