Dear West Berkshire Council,

1. How much provision was made for bad debt for 2019/20?
2. What was that figure based on?
3. How much debt was outstanding at the 31st March 2019?
4. What proportion of the debts were related to each of the following types:
a. Council Tax arrears?
b. NNDR arrears?
c. Housing Benefit overpayments?
d. Adult Social Care?
e. Housing Tenancy rents (where applicable)
f. Commercial property?
g. Staff overpayments?
h. Sundry debts?
i. Other? (Please specify)
5. How much of each type of debt was more than 90 days old?
6. How much of each type of debt was more than 1 year old?
7. How much of each type of debt was more than 2 years old?
8. How much of outstanding debt was written off at 31st March 2019 as un-recoverable?
9. Does the Council have a corporate debt recovery policy?
10. Does the council maintain a central database of debts?
11. Does the council operate a data matching service for debtors names and addresses?
12. Has the council centralised arrangements for raising of debts?
13. Has the council centralised arrangements for pursuing debts?
14. Has the council appointed a debt collection agency for debts?
15. Does the council factor debts?
16. What action is taken to prevent debts arising?

Yours faithfully,

phil spring

foi, West Berkshire Council

FoI/2019/1239

 

Dear Mr Spring,

 

Request for information: Debt Statistics and Arrangements

 

Thank you for your request received 15^th November 2019; we will respond
within twenty working days.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Suzi Kenchington 

Information Compliance Officer

Legal and Strategic Support

West Berkshire Council, Council Offices, Market Street, Newbury, RG14 5LD

[1][email address] | 01635 519860 | 2860

 

 

 

From: phil spring [mailto:[FOI #620546 email]]
Sent: 15 November 2019 14:12
To: foi <[West Berkshire Council request email]>
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Debt Statistics and Arrangements

 

This is an EXTERNAL EMAIL. STOP. THINK before you CLICK links or OPEN
attachments.

Dear West Berkshire Council,

1. How much provision was made for bad debt for 2019/20?
2. What was that figure based on?
3. How much debt was outstanding at the 31st March 2019?
4. What proportion of the debts were related to each of the following
types:
a. Council Tax arrears?
b. NNDR arrears?
c. Housing Benefit overpayments?
d. Adult Social Care?
e. Housing Tenancy rents (where applicable)
f. Commercial property?
g. Staff overpayments?
h. Sundry debts?
i. Other? (Please specify)
5. How much of each type of debt was more than 90 days old?
6. How much of each type of debt was more than 1 year old?
7. How much of each type of debt was more than 2 years old?
8. How much of outstanding debt was written off at 31st March 2019 as
un-recoverable?
9. Does the Council have a corporate debt recovery policy?
10. Does the council maintain a central database of debts?
11. Does the council operate a data matching service for debtors names and
addresses?
12. Has the council centralised arrangements for raising of debts?
13. Has the council centralised arrangements for pursuing debts?
14. Has the council appointed a debt collection agency for debts?
15. Does the council factor debts?
16. What action is taken to prevent debts arising?

Yours faithfully,

phil spring

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[2][FOI #620546 email]

Is [3][West Berkshire Council request email] the wrong address for Freedom of Information
requests to West Berkshire Council? If so, please contact us using this
form:
[4]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/change_re...

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For more detailed guidance on safely disclosing information, read the
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[6]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/ico-...

Please note that in some cases publication of requests and responses will
be delayed.

If you find this service useful as an FOI officer, please ask your web
manager to link to us from your organisation's FOI page.

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

foi, West Berkshire Council

FoI/2019/1239

 

Dear Mr Spring,

 

Request for information: Debt Statistics and Arrangements

 

Please could you clarify what you mean by commercial property?

 

Once we have received this clarification we will seek to respond within
twenty working days.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Suzi Kenchington 

Information Compliance Officer

Legal and Strategic Support

West Berkshire Council, Council Offices, Market Street, Newbury, RG14 5LD

[1][email address] | 01635 519860 | 2860

 

 

 

From: phil spring [[2]mailto:[FOI #620546 email]]
Sent: 15 November 2019 14:12
To: foi <[3][West Berkshire Council request email]>
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Debt Statistics and Arrangements

 

This is an EXTERNAL EMAIL. STOP. THINK before you CLICK links or OPEN
attachments.

Dear West Berkshire Council,

1. How much provision was made for bad debt for 2019/20?
2. What was that figure based on?
3. How much debt was outstanding at the 31st March 2019?
4. What proportion of the debts were related to each of the following
types:
a. Council Tax arrears?
b. NNDR arrears?
c. Housing Benefit overpayments?
d. Adult Social Care?
e. Housing Tenancy rents (where applicable)
f. Commercial property?
g. Staff overpayments?
h. Sundry debts?
i. Other? (Please specify)
5. How much of each type of debt was more than 90 days old?
6. How much of each type of debt was more than 1 year old?
7. How much of each type of debt was more than 2 years old?
8. How much of outstanding debt was written off at 31st March 2019 as
un-recoverable?
9. Does the Council have a corporate debt recovery policy?
10. Does the council maintain a central database of debts?
11. Does the council operate a data matching service for debtors names and
addresses?
12. Has the council centralised arrangements for raising of debts?
13. Has the council centralised arrangements for pursuing debts?
14. Has the council appointed a debt collection agency for debts?
15. Does the council factor debts?
16. What action is taken to prevent debts arising?

Yours faithfully,

phil spring

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[4][FOI #620546 email]

Is [5][West Berkshire Council request email] the wrong address for Freedom of Information
requests to West Berkshire Council? If so, please contact us using this
form:
[6]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/change_re...

Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be published on
the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:
[7]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/offi...

For more detailed guidance on safely disclosing information, read the
latest advice from the ICO:
[8]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/ico-...

Please note that in some cases publication of requests and responses will
be delayed.

If you find this service useful as an FOI officer, please ask your web
manager to link to us from your organisation's FOI page.

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear foi,

This would normally be property such as Shops/Office premises/workshops and the like that the council takes a commercial rent or lease payment from.

Yours sincerely,

phil spring

foi, West Berkshire Council

FoI/2019/123

 

Dear Mr Spring,

 

Request for information: Debt Statistics and Arrangements

 

Please see below the Council’s response to your request for information.

 

You have asked;

 

1.     How much provision was made for bad debt for 2019/20?

2019/20 Calculation will be done at year end.  2018/19 figures have been
provided below.

 

Community
Care &
Debt
Provision 242,603.21
Prov. Bad
Dbt
Sundry
Debtors 18,528.69
Council
Tax Prov
For Bad
Deb 136,547.00
NNDR
Prov.Bad
Debts 495,000.09
Provision
for
Housing
Benefit
o/pay 801,803.93
CTAX and
NNDR
COSTS Bad
Debt
Provision 173,995.00
Provision
For Bad
Debts 1,868,477.92

2. What was that figure based on?

Provisions is based on type and age of debts

3. How much debt was outstanding at the 31st March 2019?

 

Gross of
provision
for bad
31,739,709.04 debts
Provision
For Bad
(1,868,477.92) Debts
Total
debtors
net of
provision
for bad
29,871,231.12 debts

 

4. What proportion of the debts were related to each of the following
types:
5. How much of each type of debt was more than 90 days old?

6. How much of each type of debt was more than 1 year old?

7. How much of each type of debt was more than 2 years old?

Please see the chart below. The split re questions 6 and 7 is not easily
obtainable, our split shows 365+ days - please see analysis below.

 

more than
more than 2 year
£ % 90 days 365+ days old
we do not
a. Council keep this
Tax arrears? 4,645,685.89 14.64% information 2,630,000 1,930,000 rounded
we do not
b. NNDR keep this
arrears? 2,712,769.25 8.55% information 922,000 567,000 rounded
c. Housing
Benefit
overpayments? 1,694,541.41 5.34% 151,270 467,678
d. Adult
Social Care?
(Includes
£1,737,700 re
deferred
payment
schemes) 2,662,166.00 8.39% 871,192 796,550
e. Housing
Tenancy rents
(where
applicable) 32,836.22 0.10% 7,852 1,160
f. Commercial
property? 2,434,109.48 7.67% 0 0
g. Staff overpayments?  as
this would be negligible,
we do not hold this
information
h. Sundry
debts? 4,522,001.22 14.24% 69,693 13,873
i. Other?
(Please
specify)
Central
Gov 2,387,138.27 7.52% 0 0
Loc Gov 2,225,440.03 7.01% 747 0
NHS 123,432.28 0.39% 0 0
Schools 655,743.75 2.07% 340 0
Sub-total
Sundry
Debtors 24,095,863.80
Payments In
Advance 2,229,477.73 7.02%
NNDR amounts
owed to/from
Central
Government 4,838,046.31 15.24%
Preceptors
Debtor -
Other Local
Authorities 576,321.20 1.82%
Total
Debtors 
Gross of
provision for
bad debts 31,739,709.04 100.00%

 

 

8. How much of outstanding debt was written off at 31st March 2019 as
un-recoverable?

Council
Tax
written
off
during
2018/19
was
£122,857
Business
Rates
written
off
during
2018/19
was
£487,423
Sundry
Debtors
written
off
during
2018/19
was
£80,485

9. Does the Council have a corporate debt recovery policy?

No, the Council does not presently have a Corporate Debt Policy.

10. Does the council maintain a central database of debts?

No, the Council does not have a centralised database to manage its debts.
Each debt type is processed / monitored by its own managed software system

11. Does the council operate a data matching service for debtors names and
addresses?

Depends what you mean by a data matching service. Where the law permits we
do share information. For example as per legislation we data match Housing
Benefit records with the Department of Work & Pensions and HMRC.

12. Has the council centralised arrangements for raising of debts?

No, each Service Area is responsible for raising their own invoices

13. Has the council centralised arrangements for pursuing debts?

Legislation differs therefore collection processes vary

 

14. Has the council appointed a debt collection agency for debts?

Yes, for the collection of Council Tax & Business Rates the Council has
appointed 2 Enforcement Agent Companies. The Car Park Section also use
Enforcement Agents for collecting outstanding fines.

15. Does the council factor debts?

No

16. What action is taken to prevent debts arising?

The Council provides services therefore the majority of invoices are
raised retrospectively.

 

In terms of Council Tax & Business Rates, various leaflets and guidance is
provided to customers who are struggling to pay. These are sent with bills
and recovery notices. Pages also exist on our website
[1]https://info.westberks.gov.uk/article/27... for those who are perhaps
struggling to make payment.

 

If you are unhappy with the way your request has been handled or the
outcome of your request, you may ask for an internal review. You should
contact The FoI Reviewing Officer, Strategic Support, Council Offices,
Market Street, Newbury RG14 5LD, email [2][email address] , within 40
working days, if you wish to request a review.

 

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire SK9 5AF

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Suzi Kenchington 

Information Compliance Officer

Legal and Strategic Support

West Berkshire Council, Council Offices, Market Street, Newbury, RG14 5LD

[3][email address] | 01635 519860 | 2860

 

 

 

From: phil spring [[4]mailto:[FOI #620546 email]]
Sent: 15 November 2019 14:12
To: foi <[5][West Berkshire Council request email]>
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Debt Statistics and Arrangements

 

This is an EXTERNAL EMAIL. STOP. THINK before you CLICK links or OPEN
attachments.

Dear West Berkshire Council,

1. How much provision was made for bad debt for 2019/20?
2. What was that figure based on?
3. How much debt was outstanding at the 31st March 2019?
4. What proportion of the debts were related to each of the following
types:
a. Council Tax arrears?
b. NNDR arrears?
c. Housing Benefit overpayments?
d. Adult Social Care?
e. Housing Tenancy rents (where applicable)
f. Commercial property?
g. Staff overpayments?
h. Sundry debts?
i. Other? (Please specify)
5. How much of each type of debt was more than 90 days old?
6. How much of each type of debt was more than 1 year old?
7. How much of each type of debt was more than 2 years old?
8. How much of outstanding debt was written off at 31st March 2019 as
un-recoverable?
9. Does the Council have a corporate debt recovery policy?
10. Does the council maintain a central database of debts?
11. Does the council operate a data matching service for debtors names and
addresses?
12. Has the council centralised arrangements for raising of debts?
13. Has the council centralised arrangements for pursuing debts?
14. Has the council appointed a debt collection agency for debts?
15. Does the council factor debts?
16. What action is taken to prevent debts arising?

Yours faithfully,

phil spring

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[6][FOI #620546 email]

Is [7][West Berkshire Council request email] the wrong address for Freedom of Information
requests to West Berkshire Council? If so, please contact us using this
form:
[8]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/change_re...

Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be published on
the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:
[9]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/offi...

For more detailed guidance on safely disclosing information, read the
latest advice from the ICO:
[10]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/ico-...

Please note that in some cases publication of requests and responses will
be delayed.

If you find this service useful as an FOI officer, please ask your web
manager to link to us from your organisation's FOI page.

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir