The district’s political leaders met to discuss the future of enforcement last week.

Braintree MP Brooks Newmark, Witham MP Priti Patel, former MP Lord Newton and his wife Patricia Newton attended an event hosted by Shergroup to discuss the future of debt collection and land recovery.

Chief Executive Claire Sandbrook said: “We are not just in the business of debt collection or land recovery.

“We strive to challenge Government thinking and be good leaders in our community."

Among the issues discussed were proposals to criminalise squatting in England and Wales.

Ms Sandbrook added: “It appears to be something of a knee-jerk reaction.

“While we’d like to see squatters removed from premises quickly, we strongly believe the existing enforcement process should be sped up.

“We are vulnerable people who may be squatting to keep a roof over their heads.”