Ribble Valley Borough Council sent bailiffs out 450 times to collect debts during 2014/15 according to new research by the Money Advice Trust, the charity which runs National Debtline and its new “Stop The Knock” campaign.
The figures mean a decrease of one per cent in the last two years and one of the lowest figures for use of bailiffs by councils in Lancashire.
We only refer cases to enforcement agents after we have exhausted all other avenuesRibble Valley Borough Council spokesman
Under the Ribble Valley there were 450 cases, 3,501 under Preston City Council, 2,978 under Chorley Borough Council and 4,141 under Wyre. These figures relate to the 12 months from April 1st, 2014.
A spokesman for Ribble Valley Borough Council said: “Ribble Valley Borough Council has a comprehensive process for tackling council tax arrears and one of the lowest enforcement rates in the country.
“Before we pass a case to enforcement agents, the council taxpayer will have been sent a bill, at least one reminder, a summons and one further letter notifying them that the case is to be referred to an enforcement agent detailing the costs that they will incur unless an arrangement for payment is made.
“Our enforcement agents also write to the customer at least twice and possibly up to four times before visiting. If they are able to find a phone number for the customer, they will also speak to them.
“We only refer cases to enforcement agents after we have exhausted all other avenues and the Money Advice Trust research confirms that we have one of the lowest enforcement referral rates in the country, while having one of the highest council tax collection rates.”