Rother cabinet asked to write-off debt

Almost £50,000 of debt could be written off if cabinet members approve a proposal on Monday (January 18).

Bexhill Town Hall SUS-150207-140256001
Bexhill Town Hall SUS-150207-140256001

Councillors on Rother District Council’s cabinet are being asked to agree a total of £48,880.61 being written out of the authority’s accounts.

Any debt in excess of £4,000 can only be written out of the accounts with the consent of cabinet.

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“This treatment of the debt does not mean the council cannot take action in the future if information is received indicating the amount can be recovered,” said Malcolm Johnston in his report to members.

“Where it is apparent, however, that the debts are not going to be recovered, then it is financially prudent to exclude them from accounts.”

Five business rates debts account for £44,077.45 of the total.

Of those, the largest single sum of £17,445.04 is because ‘the liable parties cannot be identified’.

The report describes it as ‘prudent’ to write off the debt and reinstate it at a later date if the ‘liable parties’ can be established.

The remaining four business rate debts set to be written off are all because the companies have been dissolved or gone into liquidation.

A single council tax debt accounts for the remaining £4,803.16 because ‘the debtor was made bankrupt on October 16, 2015’, and there ‘is no realistic prospect of recovery’.

“Members will be aware of the robust recovery processes that are in place before debts are written off,” wrote Mr Johnston.

The meeting will take place at Bexhill Town Hall from 11am.

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