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Pendle Council adopts code of practice for enforcement agents

Published: Tuesday, 13th September 2016

Pendle Council has adopted a local code of practice which will regulate its working arrangements with civil enforcement agents who collect council tax and business rate debt on its behalf.

Executive councillors agreed to adopt the policy, which sets out the standards expected of companies working on behalf of the Council, on August 25. 

It aims to protect residents and ensure that enforcement agents, formerly known as bailiffs, are respectful at all times.

The code of practice underlines the Council’s aim to adopt a firm, flexible and fair approach to debt recovery.

And it recognises that on occasions some individuals do experience genuine personal or financial difficulties and may not be able to pay their debts when they are due and offers support.

Councillor Tony Greaves, who oversees the Council’s finances, said: “The Council has introduced this Enforcement Agent Code to clearly set out our standards for debt collection.

“It’s important that we can recover debt but we must ensure that it’s done in the right way.

“For example, the policy clearly sets out the requirements for enforcement agents to recognise their role in ensuring that vulnerable and socially excluded residents are protected.

“Agents must work with us where there is evidence of a potential cause for concern.”

The Enforcement Agent Code of Practice is available on Pendle Council’s website - www.pendle.gov.uk/counciltax