Breathing Space: A Situation Report for Local Authorities in England and Wales

Tuesday 20th July 2021, 9.30am to 1.00pm, Virtual

IRRV is pleased to deliver this webinar, which is designed for attendees from English and Welsh Local Authorities.   

The Debt Respite Scheme (Breathing Space) went live in England and Wales early May 2021.  It freezes interest, fees and enforcement action for people in problem debt, and offers further protections for those in mental health crisis treatment. Income due to Local Authorities is affected by these changes. 

The first standard 60-day debt moratoriums are ending in early July and some early mental health crisis moratoriums will still be in place at that time.  Local Authorities are now taking stock of the impact of the formal Breathing Space processes on operations in the key income areas in which individual debts arise: Council Tax, Housing Rents, Sundry Debts and Parking Enforcement.  The impact is also felt in respect of certain Non-domestic rate debts. 

This webinar will assess frankly and fairly the first weeks of Breathing Space implementation.  The emphasis will be on practical issues arising from the implementation of the legislation; and the solutions.

Who should attend

Attendance at this event will be of particular relevance to those dealing with the individual debts arising in Council Tax, Housing Rents, Sundry Debts, Parking Enforcement and NDR; and those with responsibility for the systems underpinning Breathing Space implementation.  

What will be covered

  • A Breathing Space ‘situation report’
  • Findings from an IRRV Survey of Local Authorities: an early view of the processes from the creditor perspective
  • The latest on:
    • engaging with the Mental Health Access Mechanism (MHAM) for breathing space
    • notifications to stop or restart deductions from benefits rent arrears when a debtor starts or ends a ‘Breathing Space’
    • Access to the Creditor Portal following the 28th June portal ‘go-live’ date
  • Engaging with the Money Advisor Network: an update from the Money & Pensions Service [N.B. this content relates to England only]
  • What to do when something goes wrong
  • Highlighting relevant enhancements to the Money Adviser portal from 28th June
  • The impact of Breathing Space on software development
  • Open Forum: opportunities for discussion of issues as identified by attendees.  
  • Additional perspectives from system ‘Super-users’

This webinar will be delivered through the GoToWebinar platform.  Copies of the slides will be provided. 


Presentation Team

David Magor: IRRV Chief Executive

Alistair Townsend: IRRV Senior Vice-President and Law & Research Portfolio Holder

Kevin Shaw: Senior Creditor Strategy Manager, Money & Pensions Service

Nigel Blair: Northgate Public Services

Moira Hepworth: IRRV Head of Law and Research will chair the event

The IRRV is the professional body covering all aspects of local taxation and local benefits administration across the UK. The presentation team has in-depth knowledge of the legislation and thorough understanding of the processes involved.

Price per attendee (prices shown are excluding VAT)

IRRV Members: £80*
*A delegate must be an Institute member in order to receive this discount, or the employing organisation must be an IRRV Forum Member/ Organisational Member.


1 delegate:         £95

2 delegates:       £90

3+ delegates:     £85


Any queries? 
Please contact the IRRV Events Team on or 020 7691 8987.


Delegate Fees

IRRV Member £80.00

Non Member - 1 delegate £95.00

Non Member - 2 delegates £90.00

Non Member - 3+ delegates £85.00