Council calls in the ballifs

ELDC HQ - Tedder Hall, Manby ENGEMN00120140114105907 ENGEMN00120140114105907 ENGEMN00120140114105907 ENGEMN00120140114105907
ELDC HQ - Tedder Hall, Manby ENGEMN00120140114105907 ENGEMN00120140114105907 ENGEMN00120140114105907 ENGEMN00120140114105907

New figures released show East Lindsey District Council called on bailiffs almost 5,000 times in the last financial year to collect debts owed by individuals and businesses.

ELDC used bailiffs 4,935 times during 2014-15, according to new research by the Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs National Debtline.

The findings rank ELDC at 114 out of 326 for local authority bailiff use in England and Wales, relative to size of authority.

Neighbouring West Lindsey District Council, for example, called on bailiffs 1,300 times in the same period.

It follows the release of official figures last month showing that in the ELDC area in 2014-15 year, there was £4m in unpaid council tax arrears, including debts not yet recovered from previous years.

ELDC’s Portfolio Holder for Finance, Coun Nick Guyatt, said: “The District Council has a very clear obligation to all taxpayers to ensure it does all it can to collect council tax to support the services the community receives from Lincolnshire County Council, Lincolnshire Police, Town and Parish Councils, and the District Council itself.

“The council will always pursue those who don’t pay their council tax.

“Enforcement Agents are only used to recover unpaid debts as a last resort. Before a debt reaches that stage significant support would have been offered to the resident or business concerned.”