The Carrington Dean business has also set up not-for-profit organisation Council Tax Advisors (CTA) to provide free help and practical advice to people in crisis over Council Tax debt. Carrington Dean is the sole private sector funding partner for the Community Interest Company. Council Tax Advisors meets a growing need for help as an estimated 1-in-10 UK households are struggling with Council Tax arrears, including many vulnerable families and individuals.

Peter Dean said: “We saw a strong correlation between people with Council Tax debt and vulnerable families facing a serious debt crisis. We decided to extend a helping hand by funding a free source of immediate help to people facing aggressive debt recovery tactics including wage arrestment and enforcement action as a result of Council Tax arrears.”

Carrington Dean, which is the leading provider of Trust Deeds in Scotland and the largest Payment Distributor for the Debt Arrangement Scheme, is extending its networks through new partnerships. It is also pursuing organic growth through expansion into England and Wales where it provides Individual Voluntary Arrangements (a formal debt solution that enables people to resolve debt through affordable repayments) to a growing client base.

Dean said: “We are pursuing a growth and diversification strategy in 2017 which we expect to increase our share of the UK debt solutions market and to expand our financial services offering. Our vision is to be among the UK’s top five independent debt solutions businesses. We are also committed to supporting Council Tax Advisors and helping it become the number one source of free help with Council Tax arrears.”

Persistently high levels of personal debt remain a major problem for many families who have run up unaffordable debt as they struggle to cope with rising living costs, low or non-existent wages growth, and benefits reforms that have adversely affected many low and middle-income families, including the abolition of centralised Council Tax benefits.

A recent report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation found that more than seven million people in the UK are living in poverty despite being in employment while the Bank of England warned that unsecured debt is rising at its fastest pace for 11 years.