The average monthly spending of Birmingham City Council on bailiffs rose by 27% this year compared to last year.
Based on the Birmingham City Council Payments to Suppliers data, it paid £189,000 in average every month to some vendors who identified as bailiffs during the 2017/2018 financial year.
This number has increased from the previous financial year when the council spent £149,000 every month.
When people cannot pay their council tax, parking fines, or business rate arrears, an enforcement letter will come to their house. If they keep not pay the debts, bailiffs will be sent to take their assets.
Birmingham City Council (BCC) has paid millions to the bailiff companies every year for using their services. That’s higher than the total amount the city council spent to tackle the children and adult obesity. According to The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, Birmingham City Council spent £140,833 monthly in 2016/2017 financial year. In 2017/2018, they cut the obesity budget into just £35,666 a month.
Equita LTD and Jacobs UK LTD are two biggest bailiff companies who work for Birmingham City Council. Equita deals with the council tax, business rates and parking service while Jacobs only deal with the parking service.
Another company who handle the council tax and business rates is Ross & Roberts, but its portion is not as significant as Equita.
How much money was recovered?
Under the Freedom of Information (FOI) request, Birmingham City Council said that currently, they have four bailiff companies who were contracted to recover outstanding debts in relation to unpaid penalty charge notices for parking services, they are Bristow & Sutor, Equita, Jacobs and JBW.
In 2016/2017, those bailiffs recovered £727,104 from the parking services. However, more than one-third of the money that recovered went back to the bailiffs. During the same period, the council made payment around £265,754 to the bailiffs on civil parking enforcement service area.
From the council tax recovered, the bailiffs collected a significant amount of money. From April 2017 to January 2018, total income retrieved by Equita and Ross & Robert was £5.4 million. On the previous financial year, the amount was more significant, around £7.67 million.
Data team: Wan Ulfa Nur Zuhra, Carmen Aguilar