Decision Maker: Executive
Decision status: Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: No
Executive considered the report of the Portfolio Holder – Finance & Resources, presented by the Leader. The report proposed the write off of debts in respect of Business Rates, Council Tax, Housing Rents, Overpaid Housing Benefits and Sundry Debtors.
The Section 151 Officer explained the levels of the debts to be written off in this report, including the percentage of the council tax and business rates that was a loss to the Council (with the remainder owed to other preceptors).
Members queried what checks are carried out when an individual starts a new business, when they have an existing business rates debt. It was also queried whether contact with other organisations such as the Department for Work and Pensions, are contacted to establish the location of debtors owing rent arrears after they have been evicted.
The Section 151 Officer agreed to undertake a benchmarking exercise to compare the collection rates and levels of write-offs of other comparable authorities. This information was to be provided in the next report on write-off of outstanding debts.
Moved by Councillor Duncan McGregor and seconded by Councillor Sandra Peake
RESOLVED – That Executive agrees to write-off the amounts as summarised at paragraph 1.8 of the report (£222,040) and individually detailed in Appendix 1 to the report.
REASON FOR DECISION:
Given that all available options to recover this debt had been explored, it was important that the Council recognised the position and approved the write-off of the uncollectable debt.
OTHER OPTIONS CONSIDERED:
As all options to recover the debts had been exhausted there were no alternative options considered.
(Head of Finance & Resources and Section 151 Officer)
(Paragraphs 1, 2 and 3)
Contact: Theresa Fletcher, Assistant Director of Finance and Resources & Section 151 Officer Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Publication date: 22/01/2020
Date of decision: 20/01/2020
Decided at meeting: 20/01/2020 - Executive