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Bolton Council: Motion to reject £1.2M NCP debt write-off

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Bolton Council: Motion to reject £1.2M NCP debt write-off 17476816

A call is set to be made to Bolton Council to reject requests to write off £1.2million in debt owed by a car parking company.

It emerged earlier this year that NCP, which runs car parks across the town centre, built up debts of around £3.8million to the council over the course of the pandemic.

National Car Parks Limited (NCP Ltd) is asking the authority to wipe out a part of the sum "in the spirit of partnership".

But the plea by the company to write some of this off has sparked widespread controversy and Cllr David Grant now plans to lodge a motion to refuse this request.

Cllr Grant, of Horwich South and Blackrod, said: “At a time when the council is strapped for cash and they are talking about raising council tax to its maximum amount, why are we giving away £1.2million?

Bolton Council: Motion to reject £1.2M NCP debt write-off 13651264

“I appreciate that there is a bad debt provision but are we dipping in to it and has there been a bad debt provision for other businesses that may have gone under?”

He added: “My argument is that as it affects the budget, the council should have the right under standing orders to reject that decision.”

The council cabinet had approved the request to write this debt off at a meeting on October 2, but this was called in for further scrutiny by the opposition.

The scrutiny committee then considered the proposal at a further meeting on October 18, with the vote on Cllr Grant’s motion now set to take place at a full meeting of Bolton Council next week.

Cllr Grant said: “There does seem to be a systemic issue with financing at the council, in my opinion.”

He added: “This isn’t the council’s money, its public money.”

The full wording of Cllr Grant’s motion asks “that council demands the cabinet rejects the request to write off £1.2million and ongoing revenue reduction to NCP, it is not financially prudent and not what the public expects of the council at a time of serious financial hardship for residents and ‘local’ businesses.”

But council cabinet member for planning, housing and highways Cllr Hamid Khurram has said at a previous scrutiny meeting that the funding comes from a separate grant and does not represent a loss to the people of Bolton

Cllr Khurram said: "We are not losing any funding due to this decision.

"The funding comes from a coronavirus grant awarded during the pandemic to support, amongst other things, the losses due to the closure of the car parks and, when the car parks were open, the losses due to the lack of patronage."

The motion is set to be debated at town hall on Wednesday November 29.



Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Whichever clown thought this was a good idea in the first place needs sacking with immediate effect.

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