Council struggling to recoup €6m debt

Longford County Council is struggling to recoup �6 million in debt
Longford County Council has yet to collect over €6m owed to it by several of its debtors, writes Liam Cosgrove.

Longford County Council has yet to collect over €6m owed to it by several of its debtors, writes Liam Cosgrove.

Internal documentation obtained by this newspaper over the past number of days show monies owed to the council covering rates, rents, water and loan arrears stood at €6.05m at the end of June.

Commercial rates make up well over half of this figure, accounting for €3.7m of the local authority’s liabilities with water charges making up a further €1.19m.

To make matters worse, economic pressures have seen many of its mortgage holders fall behind on their repayments.

In June 2012, the Council’s loan debt was €367,345, almost €170,000 below the €536,044 finance chiefs are desperately trying to recoup.

Ten of the worst affected cases owe €200,000, something the council says it is particularly mindful of.

In a two page letter dispatched to elected representatives recently, it said payment plans was one method that had been introduced to help cash strapped local businesses.

“The operating environment continues to be extremely difficult and tight control of expenditure with maximisation of revenue is required,” the Council said in its latest financial report.