Council’s write-offs of debt see slight rise

Northumberland Gazette latest
Northumberland Gazette latest

The total amount of debt written off by the county council rose slightly last year, but still remained below £2million.

In 2016/17, a total of £1.75million was written off, up from £1.44million the previous year, but still below the figures for 2014/15 and 2013/14, which were above £2million.

At Tuesday’s meeting of the cabinet, councillors and officers were keen to put this figure in context and it was pointed out the write-off figure was less than one per cent of the total amount of council tax (£175million) and business rates (£82million) brought in by the local authority.

Coun Nick Oliver, cabinet member for corporate services, said: “Debt is only written off as a last resort when it is not collectable.

“We are very good at collecting debt when benchmarked against other local authorities. There are no standout figures here which should cause alarm.”