BIG changes to the way Wigan Council collects debt will begin today, Sunday.

The changes mean that if people fail to pay council tax, parking fines, or business and housing rents they will have to pay a £75 fee if their case is passed on to a bailiff.

It is due to new laws brought in by the government to toughen up regulations on debt collection, control the behaviour of bailiffs and standardise the fees bailiffs can charge.

Clr Terry Halliwell, Wigan Council cabinet member for service transformation, said: "The changes mean that if people have outstanding debts they will not have an unwelcome visit from an enforcement agent if they engage with them.

"We do understand that there may be some residents who are feeling pressure financially. This is why we have launched the money management scheme."

If you need help with your finances, visit