A COUNCIL is ringing the changes for making over-the-phone payments.

Durham County Council is introducing a new telephone number for people wanting to make payments to the authority from Friday (September 5).

The new number for the automated payment line is 03000-456-2771, replacing the old number of 0845-835-0120.

It will take debit and credit card payments for council tax, housing rents, housing benefit overpayments, business rates, Durham County Council invoices, garden waste collection and blue badge applications.

The current number will be available until Tuesday, October 21.

A recorded message advising people to call the new number will then be available for a further six months.

Calls to the new number are charged at the same rate as any number starting with 01 or 02.

If a mobile contract includes 01 or 02 numbers as part of its call allowances, mobile phone companies must treat 03 numbers in the same way.