MORE than £200k in debt owed by businesses to West Dunbartonshire Council has been written off.

The council said the decision follows all options for retrieval being exhausted.

The total sum, £219,032, is owed as non-domestic business rates, dating back to 2018.

Businesses that have been dissolved and are no longer trading are responsible for £108,451 of the written-off amount, whereas companies in administration owed £23,436.

A further £87,114 was written off due to being deemed irrecoverable after sheriff officers took over collection efforts.

The council’s annual billing for non-domestic business rates in 2023/24 is £87.6million and last year the council’s corporate debt team collected 96.34%.

Councillor Daniel Lennie, convener of corporate services, said: "The council rigorously pursues all outstanding debt through the corporate debt team which takes appropriate action to recover money owed through various means available including using debt management partners to help trace individuals and businesses.

"We also provide support to anyone struggling to pay, and a range of options to assist.

"Once all avenues have been exhausted, the debt is passed for sheriff officer involvement.

"Our corporate debt team work tirelessly to ensure where possible all outstanding money due to the council is pursued and I want to thank them for recovering 96% of money owed to the council last year.”

Councillor Michelle McGinty, vice-convener of corporate services, said that staff ensure all public monies owed to the council are collected where possible.

She added: "Some of these debts go back more than five years and despite our best efforts, they are now deemed irrecoverable.

"It is the view of officers that these debts will not be recovered and should be written off.

"If any new information comes to light, the council will actively pursue this debt".