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Councils Follow On Debt Collection Recommendations

With councils encouraged to utilise private debt collection agencies it would seem some councils have taken the advice on board and begun to implement changes to improve cashflow and reduce outstanding debt.

It is being reported that Stoke-On-Trent City Council is currently owed around £8.6 million from taxpayers for a variety of different services consisting of allotments, skip hire, use of sports facilities, room hire, licensing fees and planning costs, commercial rent, market rent and collecting rubbish from businesses.

A large proportion of this debt was incurred through the Council providing services which residents and tenants where allowed to us first and pay for later but, as a means of helping to eliminate future debt from accruing a large amount of services are now reported to be “pay up front.”

The Council itself is looking to sell off a debt package to private debt collection agencies which consists of  rent, tax and other debts in a last-ditch effort to recover the outstanding monies.

Details of the outstanding debt amount were revealed just weeks after the Labour-run council had confirmed there would be budget cuts of £24 million for 2012/13, following citywide cuts of £35.6 million last year.

Councillor Abi Brown, Conservative group leader said:

“We have got to make sure the city council is run like a business.”

“There are still services where charges are not being made up front. I just hope the council has learned its lesson.”