At a meeting of senior NWLDC Tories earlier today Portfolio Holder for Resources, Nick Rushton, submitted his periodic report to write off debts owing to the council.
However in amongst the usual writing off of Council Tax and Business Rates debts (for entirely justifiable reasons) a little secret was hidden.
In a section of the report entitled 'Sundry Debtors' it has been revealed that debts totalling £39,760.96 has had to cancelled BECAUSE THE COUNCIL HAS RUN OUT OF TIME TO COLLECT IT!
This colossal amount has been remitted because it is 'statute barred', in other words in the normal course of events it has already been owing for more than 6 years.
What's more the entire debt has been caused as a direct result of the Council OVERPAYING HOUSING BENEFIT!
Now Council's are never going to be able to completely stop paying too much benefit, there are many reasons why this happens, but it is outrageous that debts are allowed to go on uncollected for so long.
At their regular meeting Councillor Rushton always likes to make great play of the fact that if circumstances are appropriate a balance can once again start to be recovered. Of course the fact that this amount is 'statute barred' specifically means that this is not the case.
The Conservative administration at North West Leicestershire love to point out their economic management skills.
The simple fact is that whilst they are going full steam ahead in cutting front line services, such as valued Street Enforcement Managers, they are allowing massive debts to go uncollected.
I would say in actual fact that far from being prudent economic managers they are a party of financial irresponsibility.