London, England United Kingdom (PressExposure) November 29, 2011 -- The Conference Panel included Lord Lucas of Crudwell and Dingwall, Philip Evans, co founder of the Enforcement Law Reform Group, John Kruse, Author of the White Paper on Profit Sharing and Professional Practice and Jamie Waller, CEO of JBW. In his opening remarks, Lord Lucas emphasised the need for Local Authorities to care about those they enforced against.
Philip Evans, Chair of the Conference introduced the speakers with an explanation as to how the work of a bailiff has increased with new taxes (Poll Tax) and traffic management penalties in the 1990s, so that now it is common for bailiffs to have to enforce many debts simultaneously against an individual. Bailiff Law has not been updated to facilitate these changes. More generally, the needs and nature of debt has evolved in the past 50 years, but enforcement has continued as if nothing has changed.
John Kruse, Keynote Speaker talked through the recent developments in Local Authority Tendering including in his discussion key points such as the interpretation of fee regulation and how unclear it is, the National Standards for Enforcement Agents and how Local Authorities should adopt this code of practice rather than create their own variations and fee scales and how they are regulated by Parliament.
Jamie Waller, CEO, JBW then followed with a talk from the industry perspective and what changes could be put in place to address these issues.
Following these talks, the discussion was opened up to the floor with some valuable observations made by the audience. The general consensus being that Local Authorities were being driven by cost of the procurement services rather than quality, this in turn was resulting in some bad behaviour in order to maintain market share and profit. Local Authorities increasingly are demanding a % payment on fees collected and this is driving up the costs of enforcement to people already in debt. Both the Local Authorities, Advice Agencies and Bailiff Association in attendance agreed that clear and transparent guidelines need to be set out to ensure that a bailiff company can become an extension of a Local Authority and they work together to change the perception of the industry and move forward.
Jamie Waller, CEO, JBW said "The conference was a success. No other organisation has ever managed to get so many Local Authority Officers into a room to discuss bailiff services. LADER will ensure that the momentum around the subjects of bailiff procurement, fees and vulnerable debtors remains active. We will follow up with the delegates over the next few weeks with the view of collecting their feedback and making improvements for the future. It is with thanks to Lord Lucas, Philip Evans and John Kruse that the event was such a success. I hope that next time it will be bigger and that we can get speakers from Local Authorities too. Any interested Local Authority personnel are welcome to contact me direct.