A woman fifteen months away from her 100th birthday was summonsed to court for failure to pay her council tax.

Minnie Pryor had lived in her Redbridge home for around 15 years before she was moved into a care home 18 months ago.

To pay the care home fees, she rented out her property in Trafalgar Place, Redbridge.

But the care home costs later proved too much and the Pryor family decided to sell her home.

They were advised to secure vacant occupation to help sell the property and at the end of October, the property was vacated, which meant the council tax obligation returned to Mrs Pryor.

But according to Mrs Pryor’s daughter Christine, letters asking for the November council tax bill went missing and when she visited the house she found a letter with a seven-day payment deadline for a £193 council tax bill - a deadline that had already passed.

Ms Pryor, 65, was told her mother would now have to pay the full amount for the year, which would be around £800.

She added that she tried to claim for an exemption but each time she called she was kept on hold for around 20 minutes before being disconnected.

Mrs Pryor was then sent a court summons for failure to pay council tax

Her daughter is now calling for an exemption and for less “outrageous” behaviour from the council.

She said: “My mother doesn’t actually know about all of this and I don’t want her to because it would kill her to know that this has happened and now she is being summonsed to court over this.

“It is just outrageous that the council would send a summons to a 98-year-old woman.”

Christine Pryor, a retired assistant children’s services worker for Barking and Dagenham council, faces the prospect of being forced back into work to pay off the debt.

She said: “I am seriously thinking about going back to work so that I can afford to pay this.

“I am my mother’s only surviving child so it all falls on me.

“It’s upsetting enough that we have to sell the house - the plan had been to leave it for my daughter to inherit.”

A Redbridge council spokesperson said: “We’re very sorry if this has caused distress to Mrs Pryor and her family.

“We were made aware that Mrs Pryor’s daughter was dealing with her mother’s financial affairs but, unfortunately, without evidence of the power of attorney we were not able to take up the matter directly with her.

“Now that Mrs Pryor’s daughter has contacted us and provided us with the appropriate documentation today, we will be able to resolve this immediately.

“We always ask that residents make contact as soon as they receive correspondence from us.”