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Debts of more than £400,000, including one dating back to 1990s, to be written off by Norwich City Council

Photo: Nick Butcher.

Photo: Nick Butcher.

EDP pics © 2007

Debts of more than £400,000 owed to Norwich City Council look set to be written off, including one dating back nearly 20 years.

Norwich City Council’s cabinet is tomorrow likely to agree to write off £266,000 in unpaid business rates and £147,000 dating back to the 1990s.

As reported, the Labour-controlled cabinet is due to write off £220,000 in business rates owed by a company called Project Zeus, which ran the bars Mercy, Flaunt and Rocco’s restaurant on Prince of Wales Road and went into liquidation in December 2016.

At tomorrow’s meeting the cabinet is likely to write that off, along with around £40,000 owed by Eylex Ltd, a menswear retailer which went into liquidation last summer.

The council is currently trying to recover a further £200,000 in unpaid business rates from Code Red Promotions, which took on the assets of Project Zeus and is also being wound up.

Councillors will also hear how £299,000 of uncollected business rates debts was written off between January 2017 and January this year.

They will also be asked to write off another debt of more than £147,000 deemed to be irrecoverable, which City Hall claims Norfolk County Council owes it from work done between 1996 and 1998.

A report, which will come before councillors, states there was a shortfall in payment by the county council for work the city council did as part of the highways agency agreement.

That agreement, in place since 1974, sees the city council paid by the county for various highways and traffic work.

But the report states: “The shortfall in payment by the county council was not addressed at the time and when approached again on the matter more recently has resisted payment.

“Given the age of the debt, it is difficult to reliably attribute all of the costs to the county council. Furthermore the ordering system used at that time can no longer be accessed, so further investigation of costs is not possible.”

A council spokeswoman said: “The council recognises that not all debts are collectable and therefore in the last resort it may be appropriate in certain circumstances to classify debts as irrecoverable.”

She added the council could reinstate debts if circumstances changed.

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