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    • Ok just an update sent my DQ recorded delivery, received by court 18/07/24, nothing yet showing on mcol. Deadline is Monday 22/07/24. Hopefully shows on before
    • So, the two child benefit cap is going to (rightly or wrongly) be a big issue, with the care of kids undoubtedly taking second place to political point scoring  ... Some think that parents should be responsible for kids, and the state pay as little as possible else the parents will just use having kids (which they then neglect) as a means of income for them to spend on fags and booze. Some think that benefits should be effectively there for anyone whatever the circumstances.   So what do people think might be some sort of solution?   I think that both those stances are extremes,  and you can be sure of just a few things 1. Neither or any approach fits all affected. There are some who will abuse the system, just as there are some left in genuine desperate need. 2. None of its the kids fault, and how they are treated will have a large impact on our nations future.   So, despite the claims of 'it means only rich people can have kids' which is rubbish, I think the cap should stay. ... BUT that free school meals should be introduced for all state school kids:   Which would * ensure our nations children kids get fed at least one meal a day with the funds intended for that * be a significant incentive to go to school for the poorer kids at least - keeping many off the streets and away from bad company * almost certainly reduce problems and increase productivity in the classroom from irritable hungry kids (per stats)   Not a perfect solution by any means - but seems a positive move to me.    
    • and more positive change From next year, mobile phone, paid television and broadband companies must inform customers of any price rises at the point of sale. The changes, ordered by Ofcom, will come into force on 17 January and mean that any mid-contract price rises must be given “in pounds and pence” and in a “clear and comprehensible” way.   Taken a change of government to do it after years of bluster about it eh?   Mobile phone companies banned from hiking prices mid-contract based on inflation WWW.INDEPENDENT.CO.UK The new year plan ensures providers are transparent on prices at the point of sale  
    • Could he/ his partner set up a new internet bank account?  In his name ? It depends which country, I imagine. Most UK banks want proof of address and ID, probably more. If your friend/partner can use the house address and provide bills that could help. You would need to look at various online banks and see what their requirements are. Or there are expat accounts but I haven't looked closely at how they work. Could I then get his pension diverted to that new account?  That would at least cover some costs  ( ie epc/ storage) I'd have thought the DWP would pay to a new account, as long as the person they're authorised to deal with asks them and provides details. The international pensions people in Newcastle are pretty helpful.
    • HB - he has certainly given me a challenge ! I set a plan in motion. A refinance plan that would have enabled me to take time to sell one asset and sort out another for him.   The bank account blockage has hindered the plan.  His partner seems to think I can do everything w/o paying anyone for anything.  I don't mind helping - but it's not normal to clear out 2 properties, organize storage or sale of possessions, get properties ready for sale/ rent - w/o being paid.  He has the money to pay for things and services - and for my help - but the blockage prevents that. If the refinance plan could still be actioned then at least I would have some time to sell one asset.  Could he/ his partner set up a new internet bank account?  In his name ? Could I then get his pension diverted to that new account?  That would at least cover some costs  ( ie epc/ storage)
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    • If you are buying a used car – you need to read this survival guide.
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    • Hello,

      On 15/1/24 booked appointment with Big Motoring World (BMW) to view a mini on 17/1/24 at 8pm at their Enfield dealership.  

      Car was dirty and test drive was two circuits of roundabout on entry to the showroom.  Was p/x my car and rushed by sales exec and a manager into buying the mini and a 3yr warranty that night, sale all wrapped up by 10pm.  They strongly advised me taking warranty out on car that age (2017) and confirmed it was honoured at over 500 UK registered garages.

      The next day, 18/1/24 noticed amber engine warning light on dashboard , immediately phoned BMW aftercare team to ask for it to be investigated asap at nearest garage to me. After 15 mins on hold was told only their 5 service centres across the UK can deal with car issues with earliest date for inspection in March ! Said I’m not happy with that given what sales team advised or driving car. Told an amber warning light only advisory so to drive with caution and call back when light goes red.

      I’m not happy to do this, drive the car or with the after care experience (a sign of further stresses to come) so want a refund and to return the car asap.

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    • Housing Association property flooding. https://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/topic/438641-housing-association-property-flooding/&do=findComment&comment=5124299
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    • We have finally managed to obtain the transcript of this case.

      The judge's reasoning is very useful and will certainly be helpful in any other cases relating to third-party rights where the customer has contracted with the courier company by using a broker.
      This is generally speaking the problem with using PackLink who are domiciled in Spain and very conveniently out of reach of the British justice system.

      Frankly I don't think that is any accident.

      One of the points that the judge made was that the customers contract with the broker specifically refers to the courier – and it is clear that the courier knows that they are acting for a third party. There is no need to name the third party. They just have to be recognisably part of a class of person – such as a sender or a recipient of the parcel.

      Please note that a recent case against UPS failed on exactly the same issue with the judge held that the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 did not apply.

      We will be getting that transcript very soon. We will look at it and we will understand how the judge made such catastrophic mistakes. It was a very poor judgement.
      We will be recommending that people do include this adverse judgement in their bundle so that when they go to county court the judge will see both sides and see the arguments against this adverse judgement.
      Also, we will be to demonstrate to the judge that we are fair-minded and that we don't mind bringing everything to the attention of the judge even if it is against our own interests.
      This is good ethical practice.

      It would be very nice if the parcel delivery companies – including EVRi – practised this kind of thing as well.

       

      OT APPROVED, 365MC637, FAROOQ, EVRi, 12.07.23 (BRENT) - J v4.pdf
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EQUITA LTD and CAPITA.......is there a CONFLICT OF INTEREST!!!! One local authority think so.......


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As many people on the forum will know, for a long time, there have been many questions raised about the charges that have been applied to accounts by Equita Ltd when it has been found that the local authority council tax department is run by a “back office “ provider by the name of Capita Ltd. This company provide “back office” support to a large number of local authorities.

The most common complaints concerns Birmingham City Council. But there are many more councils including Rossendale Borough Council that use Capita and Equita.

As many people of here are aware, Equita Ltd are wholly owned by Capita and in fact, in 2010, Capita enlarged the "enforcement part of their business by purchasing Ross & Roberts bailiffs.

One local authority using Capita and Equita are Blackburn & Darwen Council and it would seem that their Councillors are of the opinion that there is a definite conflict of interest in Capita instructing Equita and this is confirmed by the following extract from their own Scrutiny Meeting !!!!

Bailiffs

· Despite reassurances, Members felt there was a definite conflict of interest in Capita instructing bailiffs who are another part of their service - i.e. Equita bailiffs are subcontracted part of Capita. Members felt this gave no incentive to show restraint in their engagement.

· It is not in a bailiff's interest to close a case early or to be lenient - as charges (profit) do not accrue from that approach.

· Bailiffs take their fees out of any monies recovered first then the remainder goes to the authority. This does not encourage people to use the collecting hall.

PS: Does anyone else know a local authority that has Capita Ltd as their “back office” provider and where either Ross & Roberts or Equita are the “preferred” bailiff provider?

Please let us know.....

 

 

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Plymouth City Council

Wiltshire Council - this may also be worth a read as they state Bailiffs are a last resort http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/ctax-wilts-council-code-of-practice-recovery-tax-debt.pdf

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I think there is also:

Southampton City Council

Lambeth Council

Bexley Council

Swindon Council

Sefton Council

Mendip Council

Havant Council

Brent Council

South Oxfordshire Council

South Bucks Council

Vale of White Horse Council

Sheffield City Council

Hart Council

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Excellent work !!!

 

It is my understanding that bailiff contracts are "supposed" to go out to "tender". If so, how is it possible that each local authority who have their council tax recovery department managed by the "back office " supplier; Capita Ltd somehow manage to award the contract to ......Equita ( or more recently; Ross & Roberts Ltd).

 

Am I missing something !!!

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Excellent work !!!

 

It is my understanding that bailiff contracts are "supposed" to go out to "tender". If so, how is it possible that each local authority who have their council tax recovery department managed by the "back office " supplier; Capita Ltd somehow manage to award the contract to ......Equita ( or more recently; Ross & Roberts Ltd).

 

Am I missing something !!!

 

Capita will possibly offer their "In house" bailiffs as part of a total package, and use this to circumvent any separate tendering process for the enforcement function. The council are told it will save money and help revenue so they take the bait.

 

Capita is a candidate for investigation by the Monopolies Commission imho, it has too many sticky fingers in too many different pies imho.

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The bailiff: A 12th Century solution re-branded as Enforcement Agents for the 21st Century to seize and sell debtors goods as before Oh so Dickensian!

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Talking about fingers in pies....

 

I'm not sure whether Bolton Council use them, but Equita sponsored an event last year to give an award to NCP and Bolton Council for 'best car-park'.

 

Unfortunately my post count won't allow me to post a link to the story, but it can be found on centralboltonDOTcom/news-detail.php?id=52

 

This thread reminded me about it as our town made a big fuss about getting this award, and I thought at the time that it was strange for a debt recovery service to sponsor it.

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Indeed it is.

 

It appears that our council - Bolton - use Capita, or at least they did 2 years ago.

 

Also, guess who one one of the Assistant Directors of the People and Transformation Bolton Council team used to work for...

 

uk.linkedinDOTcom/pub/lynne-ridsdale/4/b89/442

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One thing I did note was that on more than one occasion a Mr xxxxx (LGS) replied to various FOI requests for different Councils. For those that are interested the LGS is associated with Capita Local Government Services. I wonder how many of the actual Councils knew FOI requests had even been made.

 

PT

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One thing I did note was that on more than one occasion a Mr xxxxx (LGS) replied to various FOI requests for different Councils. For those that are interested the LGS is associated with Capita Local Government Services. I wonder how many of the actual Councils knew FOI requests had even been made.

 

PT

Not many I would think, Capita would like to keep the dirty washing in the 2family" so to speak.

 

BTW apparently Capita are exporting jobs to India, IT jobs, perhaps the back office functions in councils may be linked to a call centre in Mumbai. Now that would be a real mess up.

We could do with some help from you.

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The bailiff: A 12th Century solution re-branded as Enforcement Agents for the 21st Century to seize and sell debtors goods as before Oh so Dickensian!

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One thing I did note was that on more than one occasion a Mr xxxxx (LGS) replied to various FOI requests for different Councils. For those that are interested the LGS is associated with Capita Local Government Services. I wonder how many of the actual Councils knew FOI requests had even been made.

 

PT

 

VERY interesting indeed !!!

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Plodderton

 

Swindon Borough Council use Capita as the back office but the council use Chandlers as the Enforcement and I know a friend who had problems with both of the jokers.

 

Swindon Borough Council's CEO flatly refused to accept that they were liable for thier agents and in the end they finished up in the County Courts with a Summons for an excessive £1,000 bailiffs charge for Council Tax collections ot £18.22, yes EIGHTEEN POUNDS and TWENTY TWO PENCE

 

The Bailiffs themselves actually took out a window to gain entry and when the police were called they stated that the window was already out and they had the right to walk in. The levied on a car that was valued at just under £11,000.

 

Why this never got into the local press I have no idea

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Local rags are reluctant to overly upset councils. I should think much of their income comes from local authorities advertising in their papers.

 

This one has going on for 2,000 comments, mostly criticising and exposing the council and their bailiff contractor Rossendales, but still they refuse to report on it.

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Sheffield City Council - who use Capita and Equita said in response to a FOI request: "The contract price between the council and Capita is reflective of the fact the bailiff services are being provided by a Capita-owned bailiff."

 

Word for word interpret as you wish.

 

The Blackburn with Darwen information is very interesting thank you. Regarding that authority and Rossendale Council they use both Equita and Rossendales to collect debts.

 

Freelance journalist

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  • 4 months later...

Equita are apparently under investigation by Northamptonshire Trading Standards for overcharging.

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Equita are apparently under investigation by Northamptonshire Trading Standards for overcharging.

 

Well lets hope TS nail them.

We could do with some help from you.

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The bailiff: A 12th Century solution re-branded as Enforcement Agents for the 21st Century to seize and sell debtors goods as before Oh so Dickensian!

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good article about this in the big issue its about time everyone sent a complaint to Northampton trading standards with proof of overcharging

followed up with copy to Bryan Payne Northampton shire police senior fraud investigator who according to the report is well aware of the situation

 

http://www.catherinesmyth.co.uk/images/stories/pdfs/bi_capita.pdf

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If Capita are the back office provider, there is a clear conflict of interest, in having either Equita or Ross 'n Robbers as the appointed bailiffs. If this were the City and traders, the CEO and board of management of the three companies would be locked up for insider dealing .

We could do with some help from you.

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The bailiff: A 12th Century solution re-branded as Enforcement Agents for the 21st Century to seize and sell debtors goods as before Oh so Dickensian!

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