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Who are the biggest villians, Councils or bailiffs?


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I don't know how much of this is common knowledge but I thought it may be worth posting.

 

Many councils particularly London boroughs outsource their council tax recovery to private company 'LIBERATA'.

 

Councils pay £millions to this firm, one example being North Somerset council who fork out on average, almost £375,000 per month. (source Openly Local.)

 

The London borough of Southwark also have service contracts with Liberata. 'FINANCIAL INCENTIVES' for the firm to increase performance are revealed in agenda notes from Southwark Council.

 

This is reckless and irresponsible:

 

i) Because it's tax payers money, and

 

ii) It puts pressure on and encourages bailiffs to sc*m the debtor.

 

From the document, beginning with the collection performance section item 15:

 

Council Tax base for 09 -10

 

Collection performance

 

15. The Council’s contract with Liberata for the collection of revenues is output based incorporating financial incentives to encourage the contractor to achieve and sustain improvements in Council Tax collection.

There's nothing too surprising about the above statement, but what is more revealing about the council's approach is explained in items 17. and 18. of the same document.

 

17. Given this level of underperformance in respect of the in year collection target, at the start of this financial year significant work was undertaken jointly with Liberata to refocus the contract incentive scheme to provide additional incentives to improve Council Tax collection performance

 

18. The new scheme provides for:

 

A revenue share with Liberata of 50:50 for in year collection above a target of 93%.

 

A revenue share with Liberata of 60:40 (in favour of the Council) for any arrears collected

above a target of £3m.

The council offering this kind of incentive is immoral, they know full well this will lead to increased and more desperate measures taken by bailiffs.

 

From the document collection performance section item 25:

 

Council tax base for 10-11

 

Collection performance

 

25. A major project commenced in 2008 with the large-scale introduction of bankruptcy and charging order applications. This has continued and now over 400 accounts with a debt exceeding £2m have followed this process. The Council has now taken possession of three properties, two of which have been sold to pay the Council Tax debt.

I guess that's a boast then is it?

 

And a few more articles:

 

Chief executive ANNIE WANTS HER MONEY

Edited by outlawla
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I didn't know the nitty gritty in these details, but it doesn't surprise me one bit. Everything nowadays seems to be target related, and no matter how brilliantly you do something, it can and should always be done better.

 

The councils and bailiffs have always been in cahoots with each other - how often have you heard a council say, "Yes of course we'll take the debt back, we understand you don't want things exacerbated by our actions." Not a common occurence until war has been fought!

 

Thanks for the post - interesting!

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I don't know how much of this is common knowledge but I thought it may be worth posting.

 

Many councils particularly London boroughs outsource their council tax recovery to private company 'LIBERATA'.

 

Councils pay £millions to this firm, one example being North Somerset council who fork out on average, almost £375,000 per month.

 

The London borough of Southwark also have service contracts with Liberata. 'FINANCIAL INCENTIVES' for the firm to increase performance are revealed in agenda notes from Southwark Council.

 

This is reckless and irresponsible:

 

i) Because it's tax payers money, and

 

ii) It puts pressure on and encourages bailiffs to sc*m the debtor.

 

From the document, beginning with the collection performance section item 15:

 

Council Tax base for 09 -10

 

There's nothing too surprising about the above statement, but what is more revealing about the council's approach is explained in items 17. and 18. of the same document.

 

 

The council offering this kind of incentive is immoral, they know full well this will lead to increased and more desperate measures taken by bailiffs.

 

From the document collection performance section item 25:

 

Council tax base for 10-11

 

 

I guess that's a boast then is it?

 

And a few more articles:

 

Chief executive ANNIE WANTS HER MONEY

 

 

An EXCELLENT post although very worrying indeed.

 

Another very serious point concerns another very large "outsourcing" company by the name of CAPITA. They are used by many local authorities, in particular Birmingham City Council. What is of concern is that Birmingham City Council use a firm of bailiffs by the name of EQUITA to enforce their unpaid council tax debts and guess who owns Equita?

 

 

CAPITA of course.....

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I wonder how she and others would cope if they found themselves out of their jobs.

I think that most councils forget how many millions of public money they lost in the Icelandic crash, and how now we are having to pay for it, they actually dont give a toss if your on a low income or on benefits and cover up their cock ups by way of losing forms and turning a blind eye when their agents rob us blind. Unless you know the law you havnt a hope in fighting them.

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Annie Shepperd Chief Executive, Southwark Council

I think Annie need to go away and read The council tax (administration and enforcement )regulations very worrying indeed that she thinks a clamping fee and VAT can be charged

 

People who have their cars clamped will already have incurred an additional £95 in court costs. They will then face a further £100 plus VAT charge for the clamping of their vehicle

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..... Everything nowadays seems to be target related, and no matter how brilliantly you do something, it can and should always be done better.

 

The councils and bailiffs have always been in cahoots with each other - how often have you heard a council say, "Yes of course we'll take the debt back, we understand you don't want things exacerbated by our actions." Not a common occurrence until war has been fought! ......

 

Councils were never likely contenders of popularity contests let alone firm favourites, but it's one thing I have never been able to fathom; why they are always obstructive and have to work against you. Their actions against residents are completely disproportionate and provoke situations that can have a devastating effect on them. You get the feeling that they're up for a fight which is cowardly of them considering they're a law unto themselves.

 

Draconian behaviour of our councils is no doubt caused by central Government applying pressure by way of targets for C.T collection. Of course the government in setting these targets has the easy job, the real difficulty is in the hands of the local authorities who need to resort to underhand tactics in achieving them.

 

...... Another very serious point concerns another very large "outsourcing" company by the name of CAPITA. They are used by many local authorities, in particular Birmingham City Council. What is of concern is that Birmingham City Council use a firm of bailiffs by the name of EQUITA to enforce their unpaid council tax debts and guess who owns Equita?

 

CAPITA of course.....

 

There is a website, Openly Local which I think is in its infancy which has all kinds of council related data including money paid to Capita, Liberata, bailiff companies etc. There are also links to FOI requests relating to the councils listed on the site.

 

The entries of Capita listed under suppliers to local authorities is staggering. It is also surprising that various private bailiff firms have payments made to them by the council. I was of the understanding this was not the case.

 

I wonder how she and others would cope if they found themselves out of their jobs.

I think that most councils forget how many millions of public money they lost in the Icelandic crash, and how now we are having to pay for it, they actually dont give a toss if your on a low income or on benefits and cover up their cock ups by way of losing forms and turning a blind eye when their agents rob us blind. Unless you know the law you havnt a hope in fighting them.

North East Lincolnshire Council were one of the local authorities to lose several £million of tax payers money after being advised against depositing in the Icelandic banks. Some of the responses from the council to criticism made me laugh. I remember one comment went something like (the rate of interest was twice what we could have received in any other bank deposit, you wouldn't have complained if the banks had not collapsed). Another comment effectively implied that (the loss wasn't that serious as £7million would hardly be missed).

 

Annie Shepperd Chief Executive, Southwark Council

I think Annie need to go away and read The council tax (administration and enforcement )regulations very worrying indeed that she thinks a clamping fee and VAT can be charged

 

People who have their cars clamped will already have incurred an additional £95 in court costs. They will then face a further £100 plus VAT charge for the clamping of their vehicle

I would be surprised if fascist Annie Shepperd has even heard of The council tax (administration and enforcement) regulations, someone has no doubt written all of that propaganda and just put her name and photograph on the web page. The article you refer to, Bailiffs Clamp Down like the string of others on that link are desperate attempts to increase their inadequate C.T collection rate by frightening the residents with their propaganda. I can't believe any council would want to portray itself as such fascists, It's hard to believe this is Great Britain.

 

Many references are made to paying C.T by Direct Debit in these Southwark council propaganda articles.

 

Is it a coincidence that LIBERATA have been given a target?

 

Council Tax base for 09 -10

 

Collection performance

 

35. Direct debit remains at the forefront of all publicity and promoted within all notices issued within the service. 49.17 % of accounts are now paid by this method. Efforts continue to encourage this as the cheapest and most beneficial way to pay council tax. Liberata have been set a target of 50% for payments by direct debit for 2009/10.

Edited by outlawla
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Thanks for the website link - that's going to be really useful!

 

I don't think it's just the target setting that's the problem, but the penalties imposed if you don't meet those targets. The whole system is...... I want to use the word corrupt, but that's the wrong word..... it is just so unfair, and unfair in a way which encourages at worst illegal and at best very questionable actions by those who have been set the targets.

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(the loss wasn't that serious as £7million would hardly be missed).

hmm but they miss your council tax if its not paid and add extra charges for the pleasure of reminding you, councils make a tidy profit from sending you to court, it costs them £3.00 per liability order to be signed by a Judge, they charge you £95.00 for the pleasure, thats £92.00 to get a piece of paper printed, you now know why they get these into court so quick.. and some are only a few weeks late in paying.. most are not even made aware because of the councils maladministration that they try and cover up or blame you for not doing the 'correct' thing for what ever reason. If councils didnt waste our money in the first place and gamble it away the council tax wouldnt be so high and people would be able to afford to pay.

Here are a couple of examples how my council wastes money, they paid for an artist to build a sculpture out of old wooden planks and then placed this in a, lets say not so nice part of town, hidden where only the residents could see it, it cost over £3000 and was vandalised within days. The sculpture looked like an old shed, now I am an artist and I wouldnt of called it art and certainly would never of paid that amount for it, It wasnt even done by a famous artist!!! Another example. the council had a water feature placed in the middle of the town center costing over a million pounds, it was shut off for the first two years because of contaminants and was classed as dangerous, and if I was honest it looks totally out of place. I sometimes wonder who comes up with these ideas and why our councils are wasting our money!!!

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....... it costs them £3.00 per liability order to be signed by a Judge, they charge you £95.00 for the pleasure, thats £92.00 to get a piece of paper printed, you now know why they get these into court so quick.. and some are only a few weeks late in paying.. most are not even made aware because of the councils maladministration that they try and cover up or blame you for not doing the 'correct' thing for what ever reason. .......

When you look at it from this perspective you can conclude that our councils are trying to catch out as many residents as possible by exploiting the courts in obtaining what are probably not even legally enforceable documents.

 

It appears all councils charge different amounts for taking the resident to court over late payment of C.T. I thought North East Lincolnshire Council were pushing it a bit by making a whopping 1,800% return on their £3 per liability order investment to the court, but your council charging £95 per liability order equates to over 3,000% profit. Like you say, no wonder they get these into court so quick. It says a lot about local authorities when they use money making strategies in this way, where residents are left footing the bill.

 

This is probably common knowledge, but it appears that it is not a legal requirement to pay council tax and we've been conned all along, I've checked it's not April 1st.

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As those following the thread will know I'm in the process of trying to reclaim unfair charges from bailiffs for CT 2007-08. My council charged £40 then according to their SAR, not too bad in the scheme of things by the sounds of it, but if they only pay £3 to get the court order, multiplied up by the number of CT defaulters in this county it must come to an awful lot of profit.

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