Executive asked to write off debts

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Pendle Council’s Executive will be asked to agree to write off unpaid debts when it meets on Thursday.

The debts being written off comprise £93,485 from unpaid council tax, £48,482 in unpaid business rates, £20,639 in overpayments of housing benefit and £133,076 of sundry debt.

Pendle Council makes allowances for what is known as “bad debt” in its annual budget and this conforms to nationally recommended practice.

Coun. Tommy Cooney, Executive Member for Finance, explained: “Our finance team has robust procedures in place for collecting debts. They only ever consider writing off debts after all possible steps to collect them have been taken and it’s just not economically viable to continue pursuing them.

“Of course, if in the future information comes to light that could lead us to recover previously written off debt, then we will try to recover it.

“In fact, since April we’ve identified people whose debts had been previously written off and are now seeking to recover around £23,544.”

In the current financial year, the council expects to collect over £37.5million in council tax. The recommended write-off amount of council tax is less than 0.25% of this.