COUNCIL TO CRACK DOWN ON BAD DEBT
The Council of the Isles of Scilly has said that it is cracking down on bad debt.
A resident at Tuesday's Public Meeting on St Mary's insisted the amount of debt owed to the Council "needs to be sorted out" since the authority is in financial difficulties.
Senior Manager for Strategic Development Diana Mompoloki responded that the Council is chasing its debts but has some "very bad payers".
"We are at the moment about to instruct a debt collection agency to come to the islands and collect on our bad debt," she said.
"But remember that's only certain of our debts. Many others we can do very little about apart from take people to court, which we will start doing now."
Asked why the Council hadn't take the step before, she responded: "I think there's been a historic reluctance to take our friends, neighbours and relatives to court."
She added that bailiffs are coming to the islands again and that the Council's debt levels "are about the same as most mainland authorities".
Asked by another audience member if people with debts have a chance to talk to someone, Diana replied that the Citizens Advice Bureau come once a month.
She said: "We are quite open to talking to people about payment plans if it's a large debt."
Cllr Amanda Martin said: "We've always said we'll try the velvet glove first. It's always worth the initial conversation."