Blackpool Council is owed millions in outstanding debt

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Blackpool Council is owed millions of  pounds in debt, both short and long term, according to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

Blackpool Council is owed millions of pounds in debt, both short and long term, according to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

Millions is owed to the council

Millions is owed to the council

The council has revealed a list of figures which breaks down how much debt it is owed and what for.

Figures show £62,950,000 short term debt and £57,924,000 long term debt was outstanding to the council on March 31 of this year.

A large chunk of the debt (£57,237,000) is long term business loans to companies across the resort.

However the sums reveal nearly £15m in council tax arrears are owed, more than £10m in housing benefit overpayments and close to £3m in business rates.

Other stand-out figures, which run from April to April, include £3,270,800 outstanding debt which was written off by the council on March 31.

A spokesman for the Council’s Information Governance Team said the figure is “mainly council tax, business rates and housing rents.”

The council has also made a provision for bad debts for the 2019/2020 year of £19.9m.

Provision for bad debts is the estimated percentage of total doubtful debt that needs to be written off during the next year.

In September, The Gazette revealed the council’s use of bailiffs to collect debt had sky-rocketed - increasing by 76 per cent since last year.

The council upped its calls on bailiffs to gather debts from individuals and businesses to 9,991 - up 76 per cent between 2016/17 and 2018/19 - the highest increase on the Fylde coast.