A SENIOR Labour councillor has been criticised for ignoring the issue of aggressive bailiffs – since November!
Labour Cabinet member Cllr Phil Smith was asked about the council’s enforcement team, who are responsible for chasing council tax and business rate debt, at the November council meeting. Despite numerous residents raising concerns about the aggressive approach or some bailiffs, Cllr Smith has still not replied to the question.
Conservative finance spokesman Cllr Barry Johnson, who asked the original question, said “Councillors across Thurrock have an increasing workload of upset and annoyed residents. I asked Cllr Smith at council in November for details of complaints received about the revenue enforcement team’s collection of Council Tax and Business Rates.
“I have spent many hours speaking to residents who are experiencing financial worries, emotional crisis and others who are just being ignored. Many feel like they have been bullied into paying debts they either don’t owe, or feel that the council ignores its own ‘fair debt policy’ by sending round aggressive bailiffs and rejecting sensible offers to pay off arrears monthly.
“I have made the Cabinet member very aware of my concerns as have many of my colleagues, but unfortunately we are being ignored. Even a reminder at the January Council meeting for this information has still not prompted a response. Do the figures embarrassingly reveal the council are ignoring their own policy? Or does the portfolio holder simply not care how his enforcement team meet their targets?”
YT made a call to cllr Smith’s mobile, but did not receive a reply.
Correct me if i am wrong but if this question was raised in a council meeting shouldnt the response be in the public domain also? as i have just read on another on-line media a statement from Cllr Smith that he has replied to Cllr Johnson and apologised for his tardiness, but still no mention of how many complaints have been raised against the council? why dont you try his mobile again? maybe even the councillor that asked the question to see if its true?
Yes I am afraid TBC believe in the ONE RULE FOR us policy, for me they are very much the do as we say, not the do as we do council, are very CONTRACTUAL so long as its them pointing the finger.
Many of the messages given out on their telephone services are badly worded and for many can be seen as threats, especially with regard to repairs.