Coun­cil to write off £2.5m debt

Mil­lions more tracked down

Rutherglen Reformer - - Intimations - Dou­glas Dickie

Cash-strapped South La­nark­shire Coun­cil are set to write off nearly £2.5 mil­lion in un­col­lected rev­enue.

Coun­cil­lors on the fi­nance and cor­po­rate re­sources com­mit­tee are ex­pected to rub­ber­stamp the pro­posal to­day, Wed­nes­day.

The fig­ure in­cludes £ 1.14m in un­paid busi­ness rates, some dat­ing from 2013, which are deemed to be ir­recov­er­able be­cause the com­pany is in liq­ui­da­tion, has ceased trad­ing or has been se­questered.

A fur­ther £422,674 in hous­ing rents and as­so­ci­ated charges has also been deemed un­re­cov­er­able. The vast ma­jor­ity of this (£ 321,677) will come from rent ar­rears with the rest be­ing made up of lock- up rent, fac­tor­ing ar­rears and hous­ing ben­e­fit over­pay­ments.

Nearly £ 297,000 comes from un­paid coun­cil tax, with some debts dat­ing from 1993. Th­ese debts re­late mainly to se­ques­tra­tions or peo­ple who have died.

Sundry debts to­talling £614,743 will be writ­ten off. Just un­der £2500 re­lates to the BID levy.

De­spite the large fig­ures, a re­port to coun­cil­lors will in­form them the au­thor­ity is well ahead of tar­get in col­lect­ing ar­rears.

The coun­cil set a tar­get of £ 2.48m in busi­ness rates ar­rears col­lec­tion for 2015/16 but had al­ready re­trieved £3.5m up un­til the end of Fe­bru­ary, a mas­sive 41.3 per cent ahead of tar­get.

Coun­cil tax ar­rears col­lec­tion was £3.08m for the year, hav­ing had a tar­get of £2.9m, while £ 11.28m of sundry debt had been re­cov­ered, above the tar­get which had been set at £11.26m.

Col­lec­tion of nor­mal coun­cil tax was be­low the tar­get of 95 per cent to the end of Fe­bru­ary, with only 93.9 per cent be­ing re­cov­ered. How­ever, coun­cil of­fi­cers say that is ahead of the 2014/15 tar­get.

In terms of non-do­mes­tic rates and sundry debt the coun­cil was marginally ahead of its goal.

At to­day’s meet­ing coun­cil­lors will be told: “Pro­vi­sion has been made for the fi­nan­cial im­pact of all write-offs.”

Some coun­cil tax debt dates from 1993

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