Nutty, have you been to CAB to see if they can sort out your budget for you? Also for them to negotiate with the council over payment of arrears? Very often councils will listen to CAB where they won't listen to the debtor, because it shows that the debtor is taking their position seriously.
Know exactly how you feel. when we moved we thoiught it would be great, beable to have the money to sort this place out etc etc, but reality is that things went so wrong badly wrong. We had something from the council tax saying that if we didn't pay then it would go to court, did you not have a warning?? before that summons? I am not 100% sure on this but i think you're meant to have a letter stating that if you do not pay it will go to court. because i believe it might be illegal if they don't , but don't quote me on that cause i could be wrong.