A huge new contract to appoint bailiffs has been unveiled by Nottinghamshire County Council.
The four-year deal, expected to be worth £4.8 million to the successful bidder – or bidders – is looking for ‘enforcement agents and debt collectors’.
The main deal is being brokered by Conservative-led Nottinghamshire County Council.
However, district and borough councils – the majority of which run their own car parks – are expected to take part.
This will include councils in Notts, Derbyshire and some in Lincolnshire, which currently share the same parking fine processing services with Nottinghamshire County Council via a central processing unit.
It estimates that just under 10 percent of parking tickets issued will result in enforcement action being taken.
The county council has now issued an invitation to tender – a public document asking private firms to bid for the contract.
It states that the estimated value of the contract is £4.8 million, but that this could increase should other councils in the East Midlands choose to get involved.
The tendering notice says: “The current partner authorities (councils) that use the central processing unit issue approximately 130,000 penalty charge notices annually and it is estimated that this will generate approximately 12,000 warrants that will require recovery by the appointed contractors.”
Gareth Johnson is an enforcement officer at the county council, and said: “Nottinghamshire County Council does use the services of quality-certificated enforcement agents (bailiffs) to pursue unpaid parking and sundry debt.
“The same framework contract is utilised as a shared service by a number of other local authorities across the East Midlands.
“The council makes every effort to prevent outstanding debts escalating to bailiffs, but we do have a duty to all taxpayers and service users to protect public funds.
“We ensure that once a debt has been registered with the County Court, the bailiff companies are contractually obliged to follow sympathetic recovery procedures that are significantly more sensitive than is required by legislation.
“It is unfortunate that a very small number of people opt not to pay outstanding arrears directly to the authority but we do ensure that those acting on our behalf do so considerately and reasonably.”
Kit Sandeman , Local Democracy Reporting Service