Dear Leeds City Council,

as a worried tax payer in leeds i am interested in receiving the following information .It will help confirm that leeds cc hold the same principles and ethics as other local councils accross the uk .

under foi or in the public interest can you please answer the following questions...we have had over 20 councils now reply to the same questions within 48 hours .we hope you will do the same

1. Does your enforcement agent contract allow your enforcement agents to issue an
indemnity against prosecution for themselves without the agreement of the council in
cases where they have wrongfully seized and to vulnerable
2. Have you ever allowed bailiffs to make their own settlement agreements where goods
have to be returned?
3. Would you allow enforcement agents to breach the equalities act if it meant your
business rates were collected?
4. How would you react if they did this without you knowing?
5. Would you class a secret indemnity which achieves a gain at the cost to the
vulnerable victim a material breach of contract .?
6. Must enforcement agents always report failed levies and a full report when dealing
with vulnerable customers
thank you for your public concern in answering these questions asap.

Yours faithfully,

claire moore
garforth

DPFOI, Leeds City Council

Thank you for contacting the Leeds City Council Information Management &
Governance Requests team. We confirm that we have received your
correspondence.
 
If you have submitted a Freedom of Information or Environmental
Information Regulation request- we will respond to your request in
accordance with the appropriate legislation within 20 working days. While
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If we require further information from you before we are able to process
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IMG.Requests, Leeds City Council

Good morning,

Freedom of information request Ref 249081 : Bailiff indemnities

Thank you for your request for the above information which we received on 18 December 2019. We will respond to your request in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000, or the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

Your request has been assigned to one of our officers who will arrange a response within the appropriate statutory time limit.

Please remember to quote reference number FOI 249081 in any future communications.

Yours sincerely,
Marta Kapica
Information Governance Assistant
Leeds City Council

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

IMG.Requests, Leeds City Council

Dear Claire Moore,

Freedom of Information Request (Ref: 249081)

I refer to the above and your request dated 18 December 2019. I have contacted the relevant services and now provide a response to your request relating to Bailiff indemnities.

1. Does your enforcement agent contract allow your enforcement agents to issue an indemnity against prosecution for themselves without the agreement of the council in cases where they have wrongfully seized and to vulnerable - No

2. Have you ever allowed bailiffs to make their own settlement agreements where goods have to be returned? - We have no record of ever having allowed bailiffs to make their own settlement agreements where goods have to be returned

3. Would you allow enforcement agents to breach the equalities act if it meant your business rates were collected? - The Council would not knowingly allow enforcement agents to breach any legislation

4. How would you react if they did this without you knowing? - The response would depend on the nature of the proven breach

5. Would you class a secret indemnity which achieves a gain at the cost to the vulnerable victim a material breach of contract .? - The Council would need to establish the full facts of the case before making such a determination.

6. Must enforcement agents always report failed levies and a full report when dealing with vulnerable customers - Enforcement agents will notify the Council where they have been unable to obtain payment of outstanding local taxes. The current code of conduct to which Enforcement Agents must comply contains the following section on the approach to vulnerable debtors:

1.0 Vulnerable situations

1.1 Enforcement Agents have a duty to contact Leeds City Council and report the circumstances in situations where there is potential cause for concern. The exercise of appropriate discretion is needed, not only to protect the debtor, but also the enforcement agent who should avoid taking action which could lead to accusations of inappropriate behavior. Those who might be potentially vulnerable include - :

* the elderly;
* people with a disability;
* the seriously ill;
* the recently bereaved;
* pregnant women;
* those who have obvious difficulty in understanding, speaking or reading English.
* people who rely on J.S.A / E.S.A. (or the equivalent of Income Support) as their sole income.

This is not an exhaustive list and the Enforcement Agent will be expected to exercise their own judgments.

In any such vulnerable cases, the Enforcement Agent must not proceed but should IMMEDIATELY report the particular circumstances to Leeds City Council who will determine the next course of action.

There will be instances when attendance by the Enforcement Agent is the Council's first point of contact with the debtor and should further consideration as to the eligibility of discounts or benefits be required then the Enforcement Agent should direct the debtor to the relevant Council service.
1.2 Enforcement Agents must completely withdraw from domestic premises if the only person present is, or appears to be, under the age of 18.

I trust that this response is satisfactory. If however you are dissatisfied with this response you have a right to appeal to an independent officer within the council. They will re-examine your request and assess whether we have adhered to the requirements of the act. Should you wish to follow this course of action please address your concerns in writing to the above address.

You also have a right under Section 50 of the Freedom of Information Act to ask the Information Commissioner to decide whether we have met with our obligations under the act. The Commissioner has however made it clear that she expects all applicants to exhaust internal appeals procedures prior to making such an application. Should you wish to contact the Commissioner's office then you can write to the following address:

Office of the Information Commissioner, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

You may also contact the Commissioner via her website at www.ico.org.uk

I trust that this is self-explanatory. If you have any queries please contact me using the contact information above.

Yours sincerely

Mr Adam O'Connell
Information Governance Officer
Requests team
Information Management & Governance
Digital and Information Service
Leeds City Council

0113 37 84251
www.leeds.gov.uk

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Dear IMG.Requests,
thank you for answering the points you have .i would liek some further clarity on the ones youve not quite answered.i trust that is ok

Freedom of Information Request (Ref: 249081)

I refer to the above and your request dated 18 December 2019. I have contacted the relevant services and now provide a response to your request relating to Bailiff indemnities.

1. Does your enforcement agent contract allow your enforcement agents to issue an indemnity against prosecution for themselves without the agreement of the council in cases where they have wrongfully seized and to vulnerable - No THANK YOU .

2. Have you ever allowed bailiffs to make their own settlement agreements where goods have to be returned? - We have no record of ever having allowed bailiffs to make their own settlement agreements where goods have to be returned. WOULD YOU ALLOW THEM TO DO THIS IF IT MEANT THEY ASKED A PROTECTED PARTY TO FIRST SIGN A CONSENT FORM THAT STOPPED THEM BEING PROSECUTED IF THEY RETURNED THE GOODS THEY TOOK WRONGFULLY , BARING IN MIND THIS IS A FINANCIAL GAIN THAT BREAKS THE EQUALITY ACT AND EQUALITY DUTY?

3. Would you allow enforcement agents to breach the equalities act if it meant your business rates were collected? - The Council would not knowingly allow enforcement agents to breach any legislation.
IF THIS WAS TO HAPPEN ,WOULD LIKE OTHER COUNCILS LISTED ON THIS WEBSITE YOU TREAT IT AS A MATERIAL BREACH.IF NOT WHAT COULD BE THE REASONS FOR NOT TREATING IT AS A MATERIAL BREACH

4. How would you react if they did this without you knowing? - The response would depend on the nature of the proven breach. CONCEALING A FINANCIAL GAIN FROM YOU THAT COULD LEAD THE COUNCIL INTO LITIGATION WHEN THE VULNERABLE PERSON FEELS BETTER OR CONCEALING A WRONGFUL AND EXCESSIVE LEVY ?

5. Would you class a secret indemnity which achieves a gain at the cost to the vulnerable victim a material breach of contract .? - The Council would need to establish the full facts of the case before making such a determination. CAN ANY INDEMNITY THAT BREAKS THE EQUALITY LAW AND THAT IS NOT REPORTED TO YOU BE ANYTHING OTHER THAN FRAUD VIA CONCEALMENT AND A BREAK OF CONTRACT.HUMAN RIGHTS AND EQUALITY LAW SHOULD BE INSTANT MATERIAL BREACHES,ARE THEY NOT?YOU MAY WANT TO VISIT OTHER COUNCILS ANSWERING THESE SAME QUESTIONS TO COMPARE YOUR POLICIES WITH OTHERS

6. Must enforcement agents always report failed levies and a full report when dealing with vulnerable customers - Enforcement agents will notify the Council where they have been unable to obtain payment of outstanding local taxes. The current code of conduct to which Enforcement Agents must comply contains the following section on the approach to vulnerable debtors:

1.0 Vulnerable situations THANK YOU .WHAT HAPPENS IF THEY DO NOT REPORT THESE FAILED LEVIES FROM VULNERABLE PEOPLE ?

1.1 Enforcement Agents have a duty to contact Leeds City Council and report the circumstances in situations where there is potential cause for concern. The exercise of appropriate discretion is needed, not only to protect the debtor, but also the enforcement agent who should avoid taking action which could lead to accusations of inappropriate behavior. Those who might be potentially vulnerable include - :

* the elderly;
* people with a disability; GOOD .SO IN THIS CASE WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF IT IS REPORTED TO YOU?
* the seriously ill;
* the recently bereaved;
* pregnant women;
* those who have obvious difficulty in understanding, speaking or reading English.
* people who rely on J.S.A / E.S.A. (or the equivalent of Income Support) as their sole income.

This is not an exhaustive list and the Enforcement Agent will be expected to exercise their own judgments.
WHAT IF THEY CONCEAL LAW BREAKS AND MAKE A ERROR IN THEIR JUDGEMENTS.?WHAT IF THEY FAIL TO REPORT THESE ERRORS FROM YOU

In any such vulnerable cases, the Enforcement Agent must not proceed but should IMMEDIATELY report the particular circumstances to Leeds City Council who will determine the next course of action.

ADAM THIS IS REFRESHING AND APPRECIATED .I LOOK FORWARD TO MORE TRANSPARANCY AS YOU HAVE SEEMINGLY TRIED TO PROVIDE

Yours sincerely,

claire moore

Dear IMG.Requests,

ADAM can you please clarify where you have failed to answer in a yes or no manner .what is the investigative process where you have stated you would do full investigation and it would depend on the facts
with regards to protected parties i do not think their are any facts that could alter whether it is acceptable

we appreciate you responding but the answers we believe have been deliberately left open when every other council who have answered the same questions have been clear in their answers.we hope you can redress them using other councils such as redcar luton carlisle etc as a guide

we want to believe the best of the council of a whole but believe their are obstructions from individuals in play so please explain
What is your investigation process is based on ,the law as interpreted by your lawyers or the words of the parties you are investigating?do you have a two step back up for impartiality?law or hearsay?

how strongly would you trust the word of a enforcement agent sacked for alleged theft from his previous job ?would you do your own investigation or simply believe that during a complaints process?Or would you expect your enforcement gent not to employ someone like this?

we both know where this is going and where it has been for nearly 4 months i hope you are shortly ready to answer from the publics point of view and ethicallylawfully rather than the approach seen in complete contrast to everyone else ie one trying to protect the council from litigation ?our family would like the answers to be answered like every other council not answered in a way where we will have to persist till the request is answered straight and with clarity when in doubt?

theres still time to hold your enforcement agents to account if it was only their error /law break and fraud and not yours.The first answer is a start now hopefully you can follow the lead of all the other councils.by next weekend we should have had over 100 councils answer these requests clearly it may give you a idea of the ethical and honest answers

Yours sincerely,

claire moore

IMG.Requests, Leeds City Council

Good morning,

 

Freedom of information – internal review request Ref 249081 : Bailiff
indemnities

Thank you for your request for the above information which we received on7
January 2020. We will respond to your request in accordance with the
Freedom of Information Act 2000, or the Environmental Information
Regulations 2004.

Your request has been assigned to one of our officers who will arrange a
response within the appropriate statutory time limit.

Please remember to quote reference number FOI 249081 in any future
communications.

 

Yours sincerely,

Marta Kapica

Information Governance Assistant

Leeds City Council

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From: claire moore [mailto:[FOI #629118 email]]
Sent: 07 January 2020 23:25
To: IMG.Requests <[email address]>
Subject: Re: Freedom of Information Request (Ref: 249081)

 

 

Dear IMG.Requests,

 

ADAM can you please clarify where you have failed to answer in a yes or no
manner .what is the investigative process where you have stated you would
do full investigation and it would depend on the facts with regards to
protected parties i do not think their are any facts that could alter
whether it is acceptable

 

we appreciate you responding but the answers we believe have been
deliberately left open when every other council who have answered the same
questions have been clear in their answers.we hope you can redress them
using other councils such as redcar luton carlisle etc as a guide

 

we want to believe the best of the council of a whole but believe their
are obstructions from individuals in play so please explain What is your
investigation process  is based on ,the law as interpreted by your lawyers
or the words of the parties you are investigating?do you have a two step
back up for impartiality?law or hearsay?

 

how strongly would you trust the word of a enforcement agent sacked for
alleged theft from his previous job ?would you do your own investigation
or simply believe that during a complaints process?Or would you expect
your enforcement gent not to employ someone like this?

 

we both know where this is going and where it has been for nearly 4 months
i hope you are shortly ready to answer from the publics point of view and
ethicallylawfully  rather than the approach seen in complete contrast to
everyone else ie  one trying to protect the council from litigation ?our
family would like the answers to be answered like every other council not
answered in a way where we will have to persist till the request is
answered straight and with clarity when in doubt?

 

theres still time to hold your enforcement agents to account if it was
only their error /law break and fraud and not yours.The first answer is a
start now hopefully you can follow the lead of all the other councils.by
next weekend we should have had over 100 councils answer these requests
clearly it may give you a idea of the ethical and honest answers

 

Yours sincerely,

 

claire moore

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Palmer, Nicola, Leeds City Council

2 Atodiad

Dear Ms Moore

 

I refer to the above and your 2 email requests dated 07/01/20 for an
internal appeal. I will address both emails together. I would like to
thank you for bringing this matter to our attention and I am sorry you
were not

satisfied with our previous response. I have fully reviewed your case in
accordance with stage 2 of the Council’s complaint’s policy and now
provide the following response. 

 

Email 1

 

2. Have you ever allowed bailiffs to make their own settlement agreements
where goods have to be returned? - We have no record of ever having
allowed bailiffs to make their own settlement agreements where goods have
to be returned.      WOULD YOU ALLOW THEM TO DO THIS IF IT MEANT THEY
ASKED A PROTECTED PARTY TO FIRST SIGN A CONSENT FORM THAT STOPPED THEM
BEING PROSECUTED IF THEY RETURNED THE GOODS THEY TOOK WRONGFULLY , BARING
IN MIND THIS IS A FINANCIAL GAIN THAT BREAKS THE EQUALITY ACT AND EQUALITY
DUTY?

I confirm Leeds City Council have not and would not allow bailiffs to make
such agreements. I consider our previous response to be correct as we do
not have a record of this happening, however I feel we could have been
clearer in stating that we have not allowed this in the past and will not
allow going forward.

 

3. Would you allow enforcement agents to breach the equalities act if it
meant your business rates were collected? - The Council would not
knowingly allow enforcement agents to breach any legislation.

IF THIS WAS TO HAPPEN ,WOULD LIKE OTHER COUNCILS LISTED ON THIS WEBSITE
YOU TREAT IT AS A MATERIAL BREACH.IF NOT WHAT COULD BE THE REASONS FOR NOT
TREATING IT AS A MATERIAL BREACH

I confirm we would not and have not allowed enforcement agents to breach
any legislation. Should we be made aware of such a breach, then we would
take the appropriate action depending on the circumstances of the
situation. Our policy sets out the Council’s code of conduct which we
expect enforcement agents to comply with which I have attached for your
information. Additionally in the terms and conditions of contract there
are clauses which also set out standards and expectations, with the rights
for the Council to terminate contracts and I have also attached these to
assist in explaining our approach. I consider our initial response to be
correct.

 

4. How would you react if they did this without you knowing? - The
response would depend on the nature of the proven breach.   CONCEALING A
FINANCIAL GAIN FROM YOU THAT COULD LEAD THE COUNCIL INTO LITIGATION WHEN
THE VULNERABLE PERSON FEELS BETTER OR CONCEALING A WRONGFUL AND EXCESSIVE
LEVY ?

As explained in Q3, the Council would take the appropriate action
depending on the circumstances, such as the severity of the incident, the
amount of time since the incident occurred, the nature of the breach etc.
I consider our initial response to be correct, the Council appropriately
takes action depending upon individual circumstances.

 

5. Would you class a secret indemnity which achieves a gain at the cost to
the vulnerable victim a material breach of contract .? - The Council would
need to establish the full facts of the case before making such a
determination. CAN ANY INDEMNITY THAT BREAKS THE EQUALITY LAW AND THAT IS
NOT REPORTED TO YOU BE ANYTHING OTHER THAN FRAUD VIA CONCEALMENT AND A
BREAK OF CONTRACT.HUMAN RIGHTS AND EQUALITY LAW SHOULD BE INSTANT MATERIAL
BREACHES,ARE THEY NOT?YOU MAY WANT TO VISIT OTHER COUNCILS ANSWERING THESE
SAME QUESTIONS TO COMPARE YOUR POLICIES WITH OTHERS

Our original response is correct – we would establish the circumstances of
the alleged incident and take appropriate action in accordance with the
terms and conditions of the contract and our code of conduct policy. If
such a breach was proven then we would act accordingly with termination of
contract being an option for the most serious breaches. I consider our
original response to be correct.

 

6. Must enforcement agents always report failed levies and a full report
when dealing with vulnerable customers - Enforcement agents will notify
the Council where they have been unable to obtain payment of outstanding
local taxes. The current code of conduct to which Enforcement Agents must
comply contains the following section on the approach to vulnerable
debtors:

1.0 Vulnerable situations    THANK YOU .WHAT HAPPENS IF THEY DO NOT REPORT
THESE FAILED LEVIES FROM VULNERABLE PEOPLE ?

The Council would deal with such a situation in accordance with the
attached policy and contract.

 

1.1 Enforcement Agents have a duty to contact Leeds City Council and
report the circumstances in situations where there is potential cause for
concern. The exercise of appropriate discretion is needed, not only to
protect the debtor, but also the enforcement agent who should avoid taking
action which could lead to accusations of inappropriate behavior. Those
who might be potentially vulnerable include - :

 

* the elderly;

* people with a disability;    GOOD .SO IN THIS CASE WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF
IT IS REPORTED TO YOU? See response to 6 1.0

* the seriously ill;

* the recently bereaved;

* pregnant women;

* those who have obvious difficulty in understanding, speaking or reading
English.

* people who rely on J.S.A / E.S.A. (or the equivalent of Income Support)
as their sole income.

 

This is not an exhaustive list and the Enforcement Agent will be expected
to exercise their own judgments.

WHAT IF THEY CONCEAL LAW BREAKS AND MAKE A ERROR IN THEIR JUDGEMENTS.?WHAT
IF THEY FAIL TO REPORT THESE ERRORS FROM YOU

See response to 6 1.0

 

Email 2

 

What is the investigative process where you have stated you would do full
investigation and it would depend on the facts with regards to protected
parties i do not think their are any facts that could alter whether it is
acceptable

Please see the above response in respect of the code of conduct policy and
the terms and conditions of the contract.

 

We appreciate you responding but the answers we believe have been
deliberately left open when every other council who have answered the same
questions have been clear in their answers.we hope you can redress them
using other councils such as redcar luton carlisle etc as a guide

I am sorry you felt we were not clear in our response, however I consider
our responses to be appropriate as any action taken by the Council to
investigate the matters you refer to are dealt with on a case by case
basis depending on the circumstances.

 

We want to believe the best of the council of a whole but believe their
are obstructions from individuals in play so please explain What is your
investigation process  is based on ,the law as interpreted by your lawyers
or the words of the parties you are investigating?do you have a two step
back up for impartiality?law or hearsay?

Please see the above response in respect of the code of conduct policy and
the terms and conditions of the contract.

 

How strongly would you trust the word of a enforcement agent sacked for
alleged theft from his previous job ?would you do your own investigation
or simply believe that during a complaints process?Or would you expect
your enforcement gent not to employ someone like this?

As part of the contract, we require all enforcement agencies to satisfy
all the relevant checks, such as DBS and certification. All agents working
for the agency must be certificated and we require the agency to monitor
compliance with this.

 

We both know where this is going and where it has been for nearly 4 months
i hope you are shortly ready to answer from the publics point of view and
ethicallylawfully  rather than the approach seen in complete contrast to
everyone else ie  one trying to protect the council from litigation ?our
family would like the answers to be answered like every other council not
answered in a way where we will have to persist till the request is
answered straight and with clarity when in doubt?

 

I trust my response helps to clarify our response to your FOIA request and
this concludes my response under stage 2 of the Council’s complaints
procedure, however if you remain dissatisfied with this outcome you have a
right to contact the Office of the Information Commissioner.

 

Kind regards

 

Nicola Palmer

Principal Information Governance Officer

Information Management and Governance

Digital and Information Service

Leeds City Council

0113 3784254

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Saturday 8 February • Seven fascinating presentations • West Yorkshire
Queer Stories collection • LGBT+ community group stalls • art and craft
activities • and [2]more.

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Dear Palmer, Nicola,
nicola

i thank you finally for a response but believe yet again you have failed to answer

breaking equality law can never be a case of "it depends on the circumstances"

you have answered it depends on the circumstances to many time .if you break the law or your partners break the law their are no justyfiable circumstances so it does not depend on the circumstances

you have agreed you would never allow a secret indemnity so what is your action if that is found to have occured baring in mind it breaks the equality act.on what "circumstances"can this ever be anything other than a breach of equality duty

please reanswer

Yours sincerely,

claire moore

Palmer, Nicola, Leeds City Council

I am currently on secondment and not working for Leeds City Council and
have no access to my emails.

 

Please contact [email address] for assistance.  

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Everybody needs to know about [1]LEEDS DIRECTORY

OUTing the Past – Festival of LGBT History: Conference and marketplace
event.
Saturday 8 February • Seven fascinating presentations • West Yorkshire
Queer Stories collection • LGBT+ community group stalls • art and craft
activities • and [2]more.

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.leedsdirectory.org/
2. http://www.leeds.gov.uk/outingthepast
3. https://www.leeds.gov.uk/your-council/co...

Palmer, Nicola, Leeds City Council

Dear Ms Moore

I am sorry you are still dissatisfied with our response, however this is the full and final decision and therefore I have nothing further to add.

Regards

Nicola Palmer
Principal Information Governance Officer
Information Management and Governance
Digital and Information Service
Leeds City Council
0113 3784254

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Palmer, Nicola,

the only council out of 130 that has answered like that .congratulations on showing yourself up for what you are

Yours sincerely,

claire moore