Eight Blackpool pubs on list of business rates bunglers
Town hall chiefs have been forced to write off more than Â£690,000 of outstanding business rates with eight pubs among those which have failed to pay.
Underbar on Bank Hey Street is among organisations on a Blackpool Council list of companies which have had their business rates written off.
It is reported to have owed £54,632.
Other pub companies on the list include The Blackpool Strand Ltd, owing £32,022; Happy Days Blackpool Ltd, owing £30,741; Promenade Pubs Ltd, owing £11,560, and Infinity Taverns Ltd, owing £11,409.
All the operators have either been dissolved or gone into liquidation.
Three other pub businesses were owned by unnamed individuals who have either been made bankrupt or whose whereabouts are unknown.
The biggest amount written off is £111,146 owed by the London Accessory Company Ltd, which has also been dissolved.
In January this year, the council wrote off £593,455 of uncollected business rates.
The losses will be shared more or less evenly between the council and the government which at the moment shares the revenue from business rates.
But from next year, the council will retain all the money it makes from business rates.
Coun Simon Blackburn leader of Blackpool Council, said: “We do not want to write off debt and our specialist team actively pursue debtors using rigorous recovery procedures.
“However, it’s a fact of life for local authorities and businesses that when their debtors go out of business or pass away money simply cannot be collected.
“In comparison to the significant annual amounts that are successfully collected by Blackpool Council, the write offs are comparatively very small, for business rates it averages 0.86%.
“We also continue to explore new avenues of debt recovery.
“In terms of the very small number of pubs and clubs that are on the business rates write off list, there could be various reasons for this.
“It in no way indicates a decline in Blackpool’s night-time economy.
“The town has a huge number of businesses that are operating successfully.
“The fantastic range of events that we hold every year continues to attract custom into Blackpool, while developments such as our new conference centre will bring more trade into our town.”
In the past, £500,000 of unpaid business rates had to be written off in July 2014, while in 2013 it emerged the council was out of pocket to the tune of £1.7m going back six years.