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Council / Amount of debt written off by council takes big dip

THE AMOUNT of ‘bad debt’ written off by Shetland Islands Council in 2021/22 was around half that of the previous financial year.

Nearly £170,000 of bad debt in areas like council tax and housing rent was written off during the year.

By comparison in 2020/21, when the Covid pandemic first hit, this figure stood at around £375,000.

While the bad debt figure may seem like a lot, this year’s amount is only 0.17 per cent of £97.2 million-plus of income collected by the council each year.

This was hailed by Lerwick councillor John Fraser at a meeting of the local authority’s policy and resources committee on Tuesday as an “exceptional performance”.

The debts intensified for write off are “those where all efforts to recover the debt have been exhausted and the prospects of recovering funds are negligible or nil”, a report to councillors said.