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Debt of more than £11m is still unpaid

PUBLISHED: 12:31 23 May 2008 | UPDATED: 10:16 11 August 2010

BARKING AND Dagenham Council is owed over £11.5m in debts, the POST has learned, after council bosses decided to write off £1.387m and name and shame top debtors. The majority of this money, about £5.217m, is owed in council tax, while £2.833m had been ov

BARKING AND Dagenham Council is owed over £11.5m in debts, the POST has learned, after council bosses decided to write off £1.387m and name and shame top debtors.

The majority of this money, about £5.217m, is owed in council tax, while £2.833m had been overpaid in housing benefits.

According to a council spokesperson, the overpayments happen when housing benefit recipients do not tell the council when their circumstances change.

In the past year, the council has tried to force repayment by issuing 651 statutory demands and 8 charging orders worth £300,000 towards its debtors. Charging orders ensure that the council will receive the money it is owed once the debtor's property is sold.

The council has also made 44 people bankrupt and evicted 116 council tenants, but current and former residents still owe over £1.671m in rent arrears.

Another £1.484m worth of sundry debts have not been specified by the council. Businesses owe around £290,000 in uncollected business rates.

The council spokesperson said that the council was only publicising the details of people who had set out to deliberately avoid paying the council.


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