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I asked the Manager would the council ensure that Equita is brought to justices for there illegal actions.

 

His words where something like, it would appear from the recordings and letter that the fees where indeed added to illegally.

 

However to prove this, there would need to be a criminal investigation and that the council would not do this.

Peterborough City Council now plan to tender out the contract for a new Bailiff company

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Yeap, here a reply i had from the police for a previous case

 

Sir,

There may be a reason why a bailiff company is attempting to recover costs from you, unless it is a genuine mistake? This would appear on the information given to be a civil debt between you and this company rather than any form of Fraud under the Fraud Act 2006. Unfortunately, on the information supplied, I cannot give a more definite reply. However, before this matter can be looked into further, you will need to consider the following:

 

1.Why are a bailiff company trying to recover costs from you?

2.What was the purpose of their visits to your house?

3.If their visits to your premises were for a legitimate & lawful reason what was it?

4.Were they in possession of a legal document or warrant?

5.Was the purpose of their visits to recover any ‘distress’ items i.e. property?

6.Have you requested copies of documents correctly under the law i.e. under the Freedom of Information Act?

7.Is the purpose of writing to you to recover their costs actually ‘dishonest’ in the true meaning of the Fraud Act?

 

We would not launch a Fraud investigation lightly because of the Police Officers time involved in this & therefore, I would ask you to consider the above points. If you do consider it is a civil matter, then this will be a matter for a solicitor to take up on your behalf, and you would be well advised to seek advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau.

Hope I have been of some assistance to you,

Jack Askew. Sgt 3258.

 

Jack Askew. Sergeant 3258.

 

 

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Now surely if this fee is added to all accounts that go to the bailiff, they are all incorrect.

 

Maybe a chat with the local press and radio would bring this to the attention of all the customers that have been over charged.

 

They could all then start court proceedings against the bailiffs.

 

Jogs

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Questions ???????

 

 

1. being that the Council have agreed to remove all the fees, do i still have the right to complain about the fees and have something done about them so other people dont have this happen to them?

 

Can i have an independant assement of the fees (Court Fees)

 

 

This is not my case, i am working it on behalf of a family member and have thired party disclosure access with the council.

 

I want new policys in place to protect others etc

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Yes the Council have said going by what Equita have said that the fees are Illegal, however the Council are waiting a response from Equita and they they are likely to say it was added to the account by mistake / training issue (way of getting out of the offence)

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[update]

 

Just had a phone call from the Manager of Peterborough City Council (Jim Glover)

 

Basically he has called for a meeting with two of the senior mangers from Equita to go and visit him at the Council to discuss my complaint etc.

 

Jim has stated he is not happy with the conduct of Equita and he is now reviewing both the Councils and Equita’s procedures.

 

  • The council will now allow people more time before passing out the overdue council tax account to bailiff companies.
  • Peterborough City council are now going to introduce stricter procedures on proof that bailiff visits are made on any complaints that are received.
  • Peterborough City Council will take the required action to stop this happing again. Equita are now required to ensure better practices are put in place.

 

Jim said he will be in contact with me again tomorrow to provide an update after his meeting with Equita Limited

 

 

Jim as confirmed. The council tax account of my sister in-law has now been removed from Equita and will now be managed with a payment agreement directly with the council. All fees on the account will be refunded.

 

So all is looking good at the moment

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must make a note not to cross u 26 lol well done mate

patrickq1

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/welcome-consumer-forums/107001-how-do-i-dummies.html

 

 

 

 

Advice & opinions given by patrickq1 are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional

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(UPDATE)

 

Below is an email i got today from the Court with referece to the Costs

 

From: Cann, Jen [mailto:[email protected]]

Sent: 19 August 2009 10:51

To: UK26

Subject: FW: Council Tax

Dear Mr UK26,

Please see below the fees as requested.

The fee for a Liability Order is £3.00 I have listed below the court fees relevant to Council Tax matters.

The fee for a Council Tax Application for a Liability Order is £3.00 (each defendant)

The fee for a Council Tax Application for any Warrant id £75.00

The Fee for Council Tax Application for Committal (including warrant) is £240.00

Regards

Mrs J Cann

Enforcement Team Leader - Cambridgeshire

HMCS Cambridgeshire, Norfolk &Suffolk

Peterborough Magistrates' Court

Bridge Street

Peterborough

PE1 1ED

Direct Dial: 01733 201339

The fee for a Liability Order is £3.00 I have listed below the court fees relevant to Council Tax matters.

The fee for a Council Tax Application for a Liability Order is £3.00 (each defendant)

The fee for a Council Tax Application for any Warrant id £75.00

The Fee for Council Tax Application for Committal (including warrant) is £240.00

 

 

 

Peterborough City Council charge people £68.00 per Liability Order.

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Email from Council in reply

 

From: Glover Jim [mailto:[email protected]]

Sent: 19 August 2009 13:27

To: UK26

Subject: RE: Council Tax Application for a Liability Order Costs

Good afternoon,

The costs are a matter for the court in that it is the court that set the amount and decide whether or not to award them accordingly.

The amount of costs reflect the work required with regard to staffing, IT, Stationary, postage etc for all cases that are in arrears of Council Tax, there is no profit element built in and whilst it is true to say that the authority apply to the court for the amounts to be set and will provide the appropriate justification in relation to the amount, it is the courts that decide the level and not the council.

I regret to advise you that the appropriate level of costs were granted by magistrates in your case and there is no reason to make a refund on this occasion.

As far as the other matter is concerned, we have already discussed this at some length and I will be responding in writing shortly, however the council proactively monitor and manger the bailiffs employed by the authority and as you have seen yourself will deal with any situations as they arise. Whilst the council cannot absolutely guarantee each and every action of individual bailiffs where a complaint is made or an issue arises then an investigation will take place and the appropriate actions will be taken where necessary.

Regards

Jim Glover

Interim Revenues Service Manager

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Right i sent The council this below email and i enclose a copy of there response.

 

My Email

From: UL26

Sent: 19 August 2009 16:52

To: Glover Jim

Subject: RE: Council Tax Application for a Liability Order Costs

 

Further to my conversaition today.

 

Could you please confirm the following

 

(1) How many staff do you have work in the council tax recovery department?

(2) What supporting evidance did the council provide to the magistrates court when asking to be awarded costs? could i have a copy?

(3) When was the councils accounts last audited?

 

Regards

UK26

 

Response

Good morning,

 

The recovery team consists of 10 Full Time Equivalent members of staff; however the Revenues Section consists of 21.5 Full Time Equivalent members of staff. This does not include any support services but please bear in mind that all members of the Revenues Section are involved in all aspects of billing and collection for Council Tax and Non Domestic Rates.

 

I have attached the sheet that was provided to magistrates, however as I have previously mentioned this was provided for their information only and it is the magistrates that ultimately decide the level of costs.

 

The council’s accounts are audited annually by both internal and external auditors.

 

Regards

 

 

 

Jim Glover

Interim Revenues Service Manager

(01733 452582

È07793 001860

+ [email protected]

Pplease don't print this e-mail unless you really need to

 

 

 

Summons Costs Analysis 2008.2009.pdf attached

Summons Costs Analysis 2008.2009.pdf

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The Summons Costs Analysis needs to be looked at in more detail.

 

how can Peterborough City Council claim all this?

Edited by UK26
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[Reply] from PCC

 

Good afternoon,

As I have previously advised you the level of costs and the decision to either award them or not is a matter for the magistrates and not Peterborough City Council.

The costs are set in advance and awarded by the magistrates on the day of the hearing, it would not be practical or appropriate to consider each case to determine an individual costs level depending on the work required. If this were the case then each time a person contacted the authority this would mean an increase in the costs so it would constantly change, this would also require attendance at the court to make an application for an increase. I should also point out that if the council did operate in this manner then the costs against you would have far exceed the level set in 2007.

The costs in your case were correctly applied and there is no reason to make any sort of refund to you for this.

I am a little unsure of your last paragraph, if your complaint surrounds the level of costs or how they are set then it is a matter for the court, which as I understand you have already contacted them, therefore there is nothing further to either investigate or respond to you about.

Regards

Jim Glover

Interim Revenues Service Manager

( 01733 452582

È 07793 001860

+ [email protected]

P please don't print this e-mail unless you really need to

 

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Not keen on Mr Glover I had a similar response, saying that I did give them a good "runaround" so got my money's worth from the costs I paid which was worth it. Where are you going to go from here?

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