The Northumberland County Council sold nearly £ 2 million that was owed to it last year.

Local authorities canceled a debt of £ 1.95 million in 2018-2019, slightly less than the £ 2.01 million amortized the year before.

In 2016-17, the total amounted to £ 1.77m compared to £ 1.44m the year before.

The figures were revealed in a report at Tuesday's cabinet meeting.

Councilor Nick Oliver, a member of the firm responsible for business services, said: "Everything that is depreciated is a one-time cost to the board and the total amount of depreciation has remained relatively stable compared to the previous year.

Councilor Nick Oliver
Councilor Nick Oliver

"It is important to note that everything is done to try to recover this money and that many of them are very old.It is the last step when it is clear that the money will not be recovered. "

The breakdown of last year's figures shows that 40% of canceled debt (£ 791,000) is tied to corporate rates, often when companies have been dissolved or are in liquidation / administration.

This represented an increase of £ 180,000 over 2017/18.

The council's tax levy represented an additional £ 475,000, although this is much lower than in the previous two years – £ 870,000 and £ 848,000 respectively.

£ 395,000 has also been written off in respect of rents and other debts, £ 187,000 more than in 2017/18, plus £ 166,000 in overpayments. which represents a decrease of £ 8,000.

The rest consists of "various debts" (£ 87,000) and adult social care (£ 38,000), both less than the year before.

The report to the advisers stated: "The effective management of bad debts to ensure that resources are actually used to recover outstanding amounts that can reasonably be expected to be recovered is an integral part of debt collection.

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The reasons the board wrote off the debt are as follows:

  • The customer being insolvent
  • They can not be found
  • The debt is not economical to continue or to pursue
  • Administrative errors or loss of documentation
  • Acting for a contractual debt of more than six years
  • The board having evidence to confirm that the client is suffering from a serious physical or mental illness
  • The client died without sufficient funds in the estate to settle the debt