MORE than £17,000 in unpaid business rates looks set to be written-off by Ribble Valley councillors this week.

The unpaid rates stem from two local companies, one of which was dissolved and the other liquidated, councillors on the borough's policy and finance committee have been told.

Broomhill Day Care Centre Ltd, which was based at Broomhill Farm Horse Arena on Smalden Lane, Grindleton, owed the council £14,897 before it was dissolved, according to the report.

Meanwhile Virtual Distribution Ltd, based at Time Technology Park in Simonstone, owed £2,608 when it went into liquidation.

The report states: “It is unlikely in these cases that, as an unsecured creditor, we will receive any funds, but if we do an adjustment will be made to the amount written-off.”

The committee report adds: “As a matter of law, we are under obligation to take reasonable steps to collect business rates debts. We do this by various means, including summonses, enforcement agents, bankruptcy, winding-up and committal warrants.

“However, there are some cases where debtors simply leave their property with arrears and where we have no forwarding address, or are declared bankrupt, insolvent or cease trading.”

Under the current business rates arrangements, the cost of write-offs are met in-part by central government, at 50 per cent, and partly by local government. 

Ribble Valley Council will meet 40 per cent, Lancashire County Council will meet nine per cent and the fire and rescue authority one per cent.

Councillors were asked to approve writing-off a total £17,325 in business rates with £180 costs, where it has not been possible to collect the amount due.