Sorry if this is the wrong section as I am in complaint stage with the council however its about Bristow And Sutor!
Last month I made a post regarding Cheshire county council sending Bristow and Sutor to the door, for non payment of previous council tax from some years ago and the direct earnings attachment they have on me. The basic post from last month was:
Low Income household (2 adults 1 child aged 2, 1 adult working part time)
Direct earnings attachment of £110 per month on £700 a month wage#
3 liability orders in my name and some in partners
Demanding we also pay current council tax
For months before the earnings attachment I was clearing the debt with small amounts each week.
Balifs at the door
I took the advice of forum members visited the council offices and put together a complaint which was:
Later that week I also get another letter from Cheshire east stating they would apply another direct earnings attachment, in which I sent another complaint.I would like to make a formal complaint of the way Cheshire East Council have handled my council tax arrears and the choice of enforcement visits to my property and balifs with letters of intentions to size and control my goods/property. I did come into the Cheshire East Council offices last year to discuss my financial situation and was paying "token amounts to clear the 3 liability orders you have on myself and partner
I currently have a partner and a small child. I am the sole income provider for work and i work part time with a net income of £700 and we are in receipt of housing benefit and working tax credit. I currently have a direct earnings attachment form Cheshire East Council to pay back outstanding balances which is a large deduction on such small earnings. I was told that the direct earnings attachment would continue until all debt was cleared but only one earnings attachment could be done at any time. There was no discussion of my other debts being passed onto enforcement stage.
With Cheshire East Council knowing my income, surely it would be outlandish to try and recover further debt, knowing my financial situation. Recently we have enforcement visits from Bristow and Sutor who come across are very threatening and often will try to push the front door, or unbolt the back gate and come into the garden. I often can see them looking for my car, in order to remove it. I feel threatened and intermediated when they shout through the letter box, when we have no legal obligation to speak with them.
After speaking with Citizens advice, I would like to ask Cheshire East council to stop proceedings with Bristow and Sutor and let the earnings attachment pay of the reaming debts. Financially we are in no position to pay any more and the nature of how Bristow and Sutor frightens my partner and children.
I look forward to a reply.
I would like to make a formal complaint regarding two attachment of earnings orders been served regarding your account numbers
My complaint proceeds on why Cheshire East Council would serve two direct of earnings when you currently already have a current direct earnings attachment in place. I recently visited Cheshire East Council to discuss my situation as a low income household. Before the direct earnings attachment I was paying money off the debts i owe for past council tax and slowly paying off this debt.
In the last few months Cheshire County Council applied 1 direct earnings attachment as well as the department for work and pensions, this results in over £111 PCM of a total of £700 PCM earnings, further earnings attachments would force me into having to leave work and sign on.
I request an appointment with a senior member of Cheshire East Council to discuss my circumstances.
2 weeks later I get the reply from the head of complaints.
When we where in private accommodation we where moved around sometimes every 4 months due to landlords selling or having a baby, but yet we have been billed for 1 year at a time for some places we had been in only for months. This is not an excuse I just want someone to understand the reasons why.
If anyone could guide me as what to do, as I'm not disputing that I I need to pay and I always have, I just don't have the Income to pay more or I would. I want Cheshire East Council to understand my circumstances and take ownership of the facts of what I can and can't afford to pay.i refer to your emails dated 1 March 2016 and 13 March 2016, regarding Council Tax, which have been logged as a stage one complaint in the Council’s complaints procedure.
I would advise that you have currently have arrears on the following accounts:
71160748 mr and miss 2015/16 £572.78 plus Bristow & Sutors fees of £75.00
71047255 mr and miss 2014/15 £288.96
2015/16 £256.22 plus Bristow & Sutors fees of £75.00
70812390 MR AND MISS 2014/15 £371.91 Attachment of Earnings Order
70533029 Mr .... 2013/14 £210.00 Plus Bristow & Sutors fees of £300.00
66573981 Mr.... 2011/12 £98.24
FLAT3 2011/12 £204.67
2011/12 £170.14 Plus Bristow & Sutors fees of £310.00
70164313 MR.... 2011/12 £295.89 Attachment of Earnings Order
Flat 2, - NOT SURE WHY THIS IS INCLUDED, I STAYED WITH A FREIND AND IM LEFT THE BILL, FIRST IM HEARING OF THIS
I have reviewed your accounts and would advise as following:
Whilst you did contact us last year and make token payments towards your Council Tax, you were advised that recovery action could not be ceased in the absence of definite payment arrangements.
An Attachment of Earnings Order was initially made on 70812390 on 23 September 2015. I cannot see in our records that you were advised that the Attachment of Earnings Order would continue until all your arrears were cleared and at the time this Order was served, you already had arrears in the possession of Bristow & Sutor. The Council can also serve two attachments at a time
Due to the level of your arrears and the absence of payment arrangements, I consider that we were correct in using Enforcement Agents. I note your comments concerning Bristow & Sutor and asked them to answer these. Please find attached a copy of their response.
As Bristow & Sutor state, they are entitled to endeavour to make peaceable entry in to your property but I also note that you are refusing them access and their action so far, has not yielded payment
With regard to the two Attachments of Earnings Orders served on 7 March 2016, I have to advise that on 15 February 2016, we were advised by employer1 that they were unable to make any further deductions,
in respect of the Attachment of Earnings Order made on 23 September 2015 for account 70812390,
as you had transferred to employer2. We therefore served two orders on employer2.
As you had already submitted your complaint, we should have only re-served the Attachment of Earnings Order
on account 70812390 and not served a new one on account 70164313.
I have now sent a letter to employer2 advising them to discharge the Order on account 70164313.
Bristow & Sutor have been instructed to hold action and I note that you wish to make an appointment with Cheshire East Council to discuss your circumstances and if you contact myself on the telephone number shown below, within the next 28 days, such an appointment can be arranged.
If you disagree with the outcome of this investigation and wish the complaint to be considered for escalation within our complaints process, please contact our Customer
Relations Team within 28 days of the date of this letter. This can be done either in writing or by email using the following contact details:
Thanks for anyones time in advance.