SBC wipe £1.1M off slate

THE council last year wrote off almost 20 times more non-domestic rate debt than in 2011/12.

In addition, more than three times as much domestic council tax debt was cancelled.

The figures, of £135,300 and £538,500 respectively, were revealed in a report which went before members of Scottish Borders Council’s executive committee on Tuesday morning. In total, debts of £1,147,800 were written off by the local authority in 2012/13.

At the meeting, David Robertson, the council’s chief financial officer, also warned members that a further £1.1million of outstanding “sundry debt” alone had been assessed as “high risk” and may need to be written off in the future.

However, Mr Robertson emphasised that increased efforts to track down debtors had resulted in a significant fall in sundry debt outstanding for over 90 days – now 15 per cent below the Scottish average.

Statistics contained within the report revealed that more than £330,000 of the council tax was wiped off the slate due to insolvency, up from £60,000 in 2011/12.

For business rate debt it was a similar story, with £122,000 scratched in 2012/13 due to insolvency, up from just £3,000 the previous year.

The majority of the sundry debt written off last year was owed for environment and infrastructure services.