More than 400 people were summonsed to court over unpaid council tax following new benefits reforms.

Maldon District Council issued 410 summons between April last year and February this year after people who had received full council tax benefit saw their payments reduced.

It also issued 1,762 reminders and 739 final notices.

Last April, councils took over responsibility from the Government for the Local Council Tax Support Scheme, a benefit for people earning little or nothing.

As of the end of February, there were 3,918 claimants in the Maldon district, 505 less than there were at the end of April 2012.

The council handed out £2,808.12 from its £8,410 exceptional hardship fund for those affected by the council tax benefit changes. The money went to nine claimants.

More information about the hardship funds are online at