Brentwood Borough Council

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Brentwood Borough Council

FOI 6294

Business Rates and Council Tax Arrears

Request

Business Rates (Non-Domestic)

1. How many liability orders were granted for business rates arrears in the following tax years

1. 2009/10 -
2. 2010/11 -
3. 2011/12 -
4. 2012/13 -

2. Of those liability orders above, how many were sent to Bailiffs for enforcement?

1. 2009/10 -
2. 2010/11 -
3. 2011/12 -
4. 2012/13 -

3. Of those liability orders sent to Bailiffs for enforcement, how many were returned to the council as uncollectable and/or requiring further steps to recover the revenue?

1. 2009/10 -
2. 2010/11 -
3. 2011/12 -
4. 2012/13 -

4. What is the current number of cases and the value of those cases that have been returned to the council as uncollectable and/or requiring further steps through years 2009/10 to 2012/13?

5. What is the average collection rate of your Bailiff(s) - please provide percentages for all tax years mentioned above.

6. Does the council use any other collection agencies other than Bailiffs to collect Business Rates arrears?

7. If an alternative, more effective method of collection was available to the council, would the council consider this service?

8. Out of the councils outstanding business rates accounts in arrears, how many are public houses?

9. What is the name of the individual who is in charge of business rates collection and please supply his/her email address.

10. Does the Council outsource its collection activities to companies such as Capita, and if so, which company is the contract currently held by and, what term is left to run?

Council Tax

1. How many liability orders were granted for Council Tax arrears in the following tax years

1. 2009/10 -
2. 2010/11 -
3. 2011/12 -
4. 2012/13 -

2. Of those liability orders, how many were sent to Bailiffs for enforcement?

1. 2009/10 -
2. 2010/11 -
3. 2011/12 -
4. 2012/13 -

3. Of those liability orders, how many have been returned for next steps to be considered, such as Bankruptcy etc.

1. 2009/10 -
2. 2010/11 -
3. 2011/12 -
4. 2012/13 -

4. What is the current value of outstanding arrears broken down by tax year?

1. 2009/10
2. 2010/11
3. 2011/12
4. 2012/13

5. What Bailiff firms does the council use?

6. How many complaints have been logged with respect to the use of Bailiffs?

1. 2009/10 -
2. 2010/11 -
3. 2011/12 -
4. 2012/13 -

7. What is the collection rate for the above bailiffs in terms of money recovered and percentage of cases resolved? Please provide break down for each tax year mentioned above.

8. Please provide a sample of an active contract the council has with a Bailiff firm.

9. Does the council use any other collection agencies to collect outstanding arrears other than Bailiffs?

10. If an alternative, more effective method of collection was available, would the council consider using this in replacement of or in tandem with Bailiff enforcement?

11. Please supply the name and email address of the Head of Revenues and Benefits.

12. Does the council outsource its collection activities and if so, who to and, what is the current remaining term left on the contract?

Response

The Council does hold the information requested but needs to fully consider the release of such information relating to commercial interests. Having considered this in relation to section 36 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and having taken advice we are unable to provide a list of businesses in arrears because this information would damage the businesses ability to trade if the public new that they were facing financial difficulties, as well as making businesses less likely to co-operate and share financial information freely with the Council.