BAILIFFS collected debts of over £1.5m on behalf of Solihull Council in a 12 month period.
For 2010/11, they were called in to recover unpaid bills in almost 5,000 cases (4,674 involving council tax and 265 concerning business rates).
But despite the weight of cases being referred to bailiff firm Jacobs, the local authority said that goods had been removed in only a single instance.
Last Thursday, Solihull Council’s cabinet approved a new code of conduct - to ensure that the debt collectors understand the standards of behaviour expected. Among the conditions included in the document are that bailiffs don’t act in a threatening manner, have a professional approach and are smartly turned out.
Although Solihull Council said its bailiffs behaved reasonably, some neighbouring authorities have recently been accused of employing firms who use “bullying” tactics.