2. What is the council’s policy?
While we have a legal duty to recover sums due to the Council, our policy aims to ensure that collection is both fair and cost effective, and that our approach across the different recovery teams will be professional, uniform and timely.
In line with the Council’s poverty strategy we recognise that preventing debt is essential and therefore we will always:
- Train staff at first point of contact to ensure that there is access to high quality advice.
- Where appropriate and with the resident’s permission we will refer those who cannot afford to pay to the Council’s Financial Resilience Team. The aim of the team is to identify and solve the root causes of poverty enabling resident’s future financial resilience. The team will work with appropriate partners best placed to solve the issue, whilst making use of discretionary funds when appropriate to support residents avoid future indebtedness.
- Aim to distinguish effectively between debtors who cannot pay and those who will not pay.
- Develop a culture of payment by encouraging anyone in financial difficulty to contact us promptly to discuss their circumstances.
- Encourage customers to take advantage of all available help both internally and externally.