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Council expected to write off nearly £10m in unpaid business rates

Liverpool City Council could be about to write off almost £10 million in unpaid business rates.

The local authority’s cabinet is expected to approve a decision to cease recovery of debts racked up by insolvent or bankrupt companies.

According to a council report there are 183 separate accounts in arrears – with a total net balance of £9.89m to be written off.

The document outlines how prior to insolvency/bankruptcy all “appropriate recovery and enforcement action possible was pursued”.

The report adds: “There is no legal avenue to pursuing this debt further.

“Writing off debt that is legally irrecoverable is an important part of ensuring that the council has a realistic and accurate assessment of debts that it is owed and represents best practice as followed by large local authorities.

“For this reason the report recommends that authority is granted that recovery action ceases in respect of these debts and that just under £9.89m of associated debt is written off. ”

The debts, which are from a range of business including bars, restaurants and shops, go back as far as 2010.

The council’s cabinet will meet at the Cunard Building on 7 December.

The new issue of Move Commercial magazine investigates whether enough is being done to lift the business rates burden on high street retailers and whether local authorities in the North West are affected by businesses’ struggles with rates – given that they were previously given a increased proportion of rates collected in their areas to help boost funds.