Last Week, Bristow & Sutor hosted two webinars on the subject of returning to enforcement. Our ‘Leading the Way’ sessions, devised to provide insight and reassurance, featured contributions from Andy Rose (CEO) and Jonathan Branchett (Head of Enforcement). Over the course of one hour, Andy and Jonathan shared our plans to return to visits in a manner that promotes local authority income, but also protects the health and safety of citizens and staff.
We were pleased to be joined by over 130 participants across the two events, with an audience made up of clients, local authority representatives, leading industry bodies and other key collections and enforcement personnel. Each session included a Q&A allowing those attending to pose questions. Some of the topics raised included what processes would be implemented for safely returning to operations, how to suitably identify vulnerable debtors, what training has been implemented and what correspondence would be included in reconnection activity.
As with our recent client surveys, it became quickly apparent that the majority of those who attended are either returning to operations immediately or keen to do so as soon as possible. We had already seen a significant number of clients instruct us to prepare for sensitively making visits to their debtors again; so, this common theme amongst our audience did not come as a surprise. As well as discussing the economic necessity of returning to enforcement (such as the £700 million owed in Council Tax since Lockdown began) latest best practice was communicated and an in-depth look at the reasons behind our methods was shared.
By openly providing thoughts, reasoning, approaches, successes and advice, Bristow & Sutor hopes that attendees will now feel reassured and confident about re-engaging quickly and efficiently. Following the completion of each webinar, participants were sent a feedback form to ascertain their thoughts. We are delighted to see that 80% of those who completed this form (at time of writing) suggested they were either ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ satisfied with the webinars; scoring an average 8.5/10 when asked if they would recommend them to a colleague in future.
There has arguably never been a time that Council's need income as much as they do at the moment, to help fill the holes left by loss of revenue streams, the additional pressure of reduced NDR income and provide increased support to those impacted financially by the pandemic. Starting today (Monday July 20th) our reconnection letters will provide debtors with an opportunity to set up payment arrangements and tell us about changing circumstances before we commence visits from the 24th August.
Bristow & Sutor pledges to return to enforcement post the COVID-19 lockdown with flexible arrangements, ongoing reconnection availability, contactless visits, PPE for staff and vulnerability consideration at all times. We remain committed as ever to our ethos of being Cool, Calm and Collected.