Firm was paid £5,000 for work that was never done
By Stuart Laundy - Senior Reporter
PARISH councillors have been warned they may have to write off a debt of almost £5,000 owed to them.
Cockfield Parish Council was successful in gaining a county court judgement against a road surfacing company for £4,900 more than 18 months ago.
The money was paid to the company to resurface the track leading to the Pauline Charlton Sports Pavilion, but the work was never carried out. Having attempted to resolve the situation, the parish council successfully pursued the company in the county court. However, the debt has not been paid and efforts to retrieve the cash have so far proved fruitless.
At previous parish council meetings it was reported that the firm involved continues to advertise its services, giving different addresses in Darlington but using the same mobile phone number and linking to the same website.
Updating members at their April meeting, clerk Phil Howard said no progress had been made.
The parish council has engaged a debt collection agency in an effort to recover the cash, but this had so far drawn a blank. Mr Howard said it remained unclear where the debtor was actually living. Efforts to trace the debtor are continuing, he added.
However, Mr Howard said advice from Durham County Council’s litigation solicitors was that there is nothing more the parish council can do at the moment.
And while the council has up to six years to recover the debt, he warned: “Sometimes you have to write debts off.”
Cllr Jonathan Milroy asked: “What’s the next course of action? Can’t we legally do anything else?”
Mr Howard replied: “It seems to be there is no action the parish council can take.”