Scottish Borders Council forced to write-off debts

Thursday June 6th 2024


Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Paul Kelly

Scottish Borders Council was forced to write-off debts amounting to £657,000 in the last financial year, senior councillors will be informed next week.

The corporate debts include Council Tax, non-domestic rates, sundry debtors, Housing Benefit overpayments and aged debt from the balance sheet in 2023/24.

Included in the write-offs was £409k of unpaid Council Tax, members of the council’s Executive Committee will be informed when they meet on Tuesday 11th June.

The latest figure is fractionally less than the £662k forced to be written-off in 2022/23.

In all cases, a debt will only be written off when at least one of the following occurs:

– Legislation prevents its recovery;

– It is uneconomic to pursue;

– The debtor becomes insolvent;

– All options of recovery have been exhausted, which includes the use of the council’s legal team and the appointed Sheriff Officers, Walker Love.

In a report to next week’s Executive Committee, Suzy Douglas, SBC’s director of Finance and Procurement, says:

“The highest value of write-offs for Council Tax in 2023/24 is within the deceased category where the Estate has confirmed there are no funds available to recover the sums due.”

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