Friday, 28 August 2015

Council reduces use of bailiffs

Plaid Cymru has welcomed the reduction in the use of bailiffs by Wrexham Council.

Plaid Cymru's Gwersyllt councillor Arfon Jones said research by the Money Advice Trust into the use of bailiffs by 326 local authorities in Wales and England showed Wrexham County Borough Council had "bucked" the overall trend by reducing the number of occasions they have instructed bailiffs to collect from individuals and businesses.

 The figures show the council reduced the number of bailiff involvement by 29% over 2 years, although that still meant instructing bailiffs on 2539 occasions - equivalent to 3.98% of properties in the area. 

Not all councils in Wales have reduced in the same way. Cardiff City Council by comparison has instructed bailiffs on 24,000 occasions, which is up 86% on two years previously - equal to 14.7% of their properties.

Cllr Arfon Jones said:

"I have had several conversations with Wrexham Council officials over the years where I have expressed concern about the council's use of bailiffs and I very much welcome this reduction in their use. There is however plenty of room to reduce further and I very much hope that we continue in that vein. I will also be asking officers for a briefing and understanding so we as local councillors can be aware of best practice."

Carrie Harper, Plaid Cymru's Assembly candidate for Wrecsam said: 

"I have assisted many people who have been in debt and felt pressurised by bailiffs. This has caused stress and ill health in families as charges often lead to the original debt being doubled. Bailiff use should be a last resort and I very much hope that Wrexham Council will continue to reduce the number of debtors to bailiffs even more."

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