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Jun 17 2013

Bob Says: Harrow Council Must End “Exploitative” Bailiff Contracts

bob_blackman3Local MP calls on Harrow Council to end “exploitative” bailiff contract

Harrow East MP, Bob Blackman, has today called on Harrow Council to bring an end to its “exploitative” bailiff contracts. His call comes following new guidelines published this week by the Department for Communities and Local Government. The new guidelines make it clear that it is inappropriate for councils to receive extra payment or profit-sharing from the use of bailiffs and the charging of fees. Contracts should not involve rewards or penalties which incentivise the use of bailiffs where it would not otherwise be justified. Harrow Council has currently signed contracts with bailiff companies which entitle the council to receive 8% of the total amount of fees charged.

In a letter to Harrow Council’s Chief Executive, Bob Blackman has requested that the existing contracts be cancelled and renegotiated to comply with the new guidelines. Mr Blackman has indicated that he will be obliged to take the matter to the Local Government Ombudsman if Harrow Council is unwilling to engage.

Bob Blackman Said: “The reality is that Harrow Council is operating an increasingly exploitative regime in terms of its debt collection. In receiving 8% of the bailiff fees charge, Harrow Council has an incentive to see them reach a level that is as high as possible. This is clearly wrong and not what residents expect from a Council that is supposed to serve them and represent their interests”

“As the bailiff companies lose 8% of their revenue, there is a greater pressure for them to press harder and charge higher fees to maintain profits. The picture becomes even murkier when one considers that Harrow Council employs multiple bailiff companies to compete against one another”.

Figures suggest that the five biggest bailiff companies in the UK earn a combined revenue in excess of £60 million. Harrow Council has previously stated that it would instruct bailiff companies to recover debts in the region of £10 million, of which it would expect to see £3 to £4 million to be collected. It is estimated that this would generate nearly £1 million in bailiff fees – 8% of which would go to Harrow Council as part of its current contractual arrangements.

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4 comments

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  1. John P Hobbs

    Yes, this is an absolute disgrace and when you try to get the fat cats at the civic centre to talk about it they wont , they are still ignoring my request for information on their stealth camera at Wealdstone Station. They also threaten drivers with the bailiffs to get their grubby hands on our money for PCNs. One of the OP chiefs told me to take my passengers to the back entrance. I did so and found the speed ramps have been made even bigger and more painful to negotiate and loads of massive potholes in the road in front of the station . I dropped my elderly neighbours there and they missed their train to Euston and their day out because the lifts were not working. I told Mr Lockwood and Mr Appleby this and their answer was “well we are not responsible for the lifts”. Its nice to know these guys are so caring. Unfortunately I have stopped doing these favours for my neighbours because of Harrows bad attitude to the elderly and infirm . Time for a change , Bob is the only one to try to resolve this attitude . J P Hobbs

  2. john p hobbs

    Cheers Bob about time someone said it too many yes men in Harrow .

  3. John P Hobbs

    And i thought Bunga Bunga was a dance .!!!!!!!!!!

  4. john p hobbs

    Still no figures for the stealth camera , that one must be making them a lot of dodgy money the way they are keeping it to themselves , come on Mr Lockwood there are a lot of people waiting to hear now . what are you hiding ?
    How about some of you politicians and local papers asking a few questions on behalf of your public .

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