Enforcement Agent Service Level Agreements

Gary Benson made this Freedom of Information request to Stafford Borough Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Stafford Borough Council,

Does the Council have a Service Level Agreement with their appointed Enforcement Agencies and if so please provide a copy of individual SLA's for each enforcement agency it has an agreement with?

Yours faithfully,

Gary Benson

FOI, Stafford Borough Council

Dear Mr Benson

In order to answer your question accurately can we clarify to which kind of Enforcement are you referring. The Borough Council are involved with various elements of enforcement such as Planning re Planning breaches , Environmental Health re Health Standards & Licencing Breaches , Housing re Housing implementing Safety Standards & breaches under HMO, Parking re parking fines, Revenues & Benefits re debt recover etc. Each uses enforcement powers for different reasons through different methods & much of this is done in house through Departmental powers or through ourselves as Legal Services. If you could perhaps expand on your area of interest we can answer more accurately.

Regards

Cathy

Ms Cathy Reid
Admin Support Officer
On Behalf of Law & Administration
Tel 01785 619 233
Ext 233

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Dear FOI,

Enforcement agencies use to enforce the recovery of any debt owed to the local authority

Yours sincerely,

Gary Benson

FOI, Stafford Borough Council

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legalservices, Stafford Borough Council

Dear Mr Benson

After consultation with the relevant departments I can confirm that Legal Services & Finance do not have SLAs with Enforcement Agency Services. The Revenues & Benefits Department do however have an agreement in place but we are unable to issue that information as the providers have stated the following in relation to their contract:

'This document is supplied to you on the understanding it is to be treated as confidential and commercially sensitive. The contents represent "exempt information" for the purposes of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 as it falls within the scope of sections 41 and 43 of that Act. Any request for disclosure under this Act should be refused and we request that you notify us of any such requests. Material exempt from the Freedom of Information Act 2000 includes information provided in the Service Level Agreement.'

I apologise for the slight delay in retuning this information to you which was due to an administrative oversite on my part.

Regards

Cathy

Ms Cathy Reid
Admin Support Officer
On Behalf of Law & Administration
Tel 01785 619 233
Ext 233

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Dear Stafford Borough Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Stafford Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Enforcement Agent Service Level Agreements'.

I find it difficult to understand why Stafford Borough Council are unable to provide information when requests to other local authorities by myself have been successful and numerous request across the country to other local authorities are successful in either providing full agreements or partially redacted agreements.

With a limited number of enforcement agencies across the country and 326 local authorities it is highly likely there are publically available agreements with the particular agencies that Stafford Borough Council use already publically available so I fail to see why you are unable to supply your own agreement when other are able to do so.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/e...

Yours faithfully,

Gary Benson

FOI, Stafford Borough Council

Dear Mr Benson

Your request has been forwarded for review.

Regards

Cathy

Ms Cathy Reid
Admin Support Officer
On Behalf of Law & Administration
Tel 01785 619 233
Ext 233

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1 Attachment

Mr Benson.  I am conducting the internal review of your request for a copy
of the agreement between Stafford Borough council and its enforcement
agents.  Unfortunately, I haven’t completed this review yet and apologise
to you for this delay.

 

If you would bear with me a little longer, I will conclude the review and
respond to you.  I would anticipate contacting you further within 7 days.

 

Thank you

 

Rob Wolfe - Local Taxation & Benefits Manager

Cannock Chase DC & Stafford BC

PO Box 28. Civic Centre, Beecroft Road, Cannock. Staffs.  WS11 1BG

Tel: 01543 464397  Email [1][email address]

 

 

 

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11 Attachments

Mr Benson.

 

Further to my email below, I have now concluded my review and agree that
the agreements between the Council and the Enforcement Agents can be
disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act.  I therefore attach
documents as follows

 

o Agreement between the Council and Bristow and Sutor
o Agreement between the Council and Rossendales
o Appendices to the Rossendales agreement, each as separate documents.

 

Regards

 

Rob Wolfe - Local Taxation & Benefits Manager

Tel: 01543 464397

 

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

From: Rob Wolfe
Sent: 26 January 2016 14:03
To: '[FOI #300772 email]'
Subject: Freedom of Information Request

 

Mr Benson.  I am conducting the internal review of your request for a copy
of the agreement between Stafford Borough council and its enforcement
agents.  Unfortunately, I haven’t completed this review yet and apologise
to you for this delay.

 

If you would bear with me a little longer, I will conclude the review and
respond to you.  I would anticipate contacting you further within 7 days.

 

Thank you

 

Rob Wolfe - Local Taxation & Benefits Manager

Cannock Chase DC & Stafford BC

PO Box 28. Civic Centre, Beecroft Road, Cannock. Staffs.  WS11 1BG

Tel: 01543 464397  Email [1][email address]

 

 

 

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Ian left an annotation ()

"7.8 Rossendales provide for a 0844 contact number so that no matter where in the country a customer phones from they will be charged local call rate. After making contact, if a customer is required to speak with a field agent their call will be ‘trunked’ to the bailiff’s mobile number and the cost to the mobile will still be charged at local call rate."

Since 2004 on landlines, and since the mid-1990s on mobiles, there has been no difference in call cost for a 'local' call to a geographic 01 or 02 number and a 'non-local' call to an 01 or 02 number. The oft-repeated, but completely false, assertion that there is a difference led to many organisations inappropriately moving to expensive 084 or 087 numbers, especially 0845 and 0870.

Calls to 0845 numbers were originally (in the late 1990s) charged at BT Local Rate when called from a BT landline. Other providers, especially mobile operators, charged calls to 0845 numbers at a higher rate than for calls to 01 and 02 numbers. Since 2004, calls to 0845 numbers have not been charged at local rate. Both Ofcom and ASA issued a note about this in 2005. Likewise, calls to 0870 numbers ceased to be charged at national rate at the same time.

Calls to 0844 numbers have never been charged at 'local rate'. These, along with all other 084, 087, 09 and 118 numbers are premium rate numbers with an additional charge paid to the benefit of the called party and their telecoms provider. Since, 1 July 2015, new Ofcom regulations require this premium charge be separately declared as the Service Charge wherever the number is advertised or promoted.

In many cases, callers choose a call plan where all of their calls to 01 and 02 numbers (and, since 2007, also 03 numbers) count towards their inclusive allowance on their landline or on their mobile. As calls to 084, 087, 09 and 118 numbers are non-inclusive, this makes them very much more expensive than calls to 01, 02 and 03 numbers.

Cabinet Office guidance published in December 2013 suggests public services and their agents and contractors replace their 084 and 087 lines with cheaper numbers such as those starting 034 or 037 or with a new number from the 030 range. Calls to 03 numbers are inclusive from landlines and mobiles else charged at 'geographic rate' - the same as 01 and 02 numbers.