Name and shame

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ENNIS rate defaulters can expect to see their name in Stubbs Gazette.
Ennis Town Council confirmed to The Clare People that, following court rulings, it will publish “outstanding uncollected rates prior to 2012” in the magazine recognised as the reliable and comprehensive source of information on companies and businesses.
The town authority is currently struggling to collect the payment of the rates, with just 57 per cent of the town’s businesses paying last year.
As businesses feel the full impact of the recession, that figure is understood to be even lower this year, putting pressure on the council’s coffers.
A total of €34.5 million was collected from Commercial Rates in 2011 by the Clare local authority, with arrears of €9 million at the end of 2011.
It is expected that €2m of that arrears is uncollectable as it relates to businesses that have closed down or gone into receivership owing rate payments.
Ennis Town Clerk Leonard Cleary said; “Every effort is being made to ensure collection of arrears in order to continue to fund the delivery of services to the public. Ennis Town Council has expressed concern about collection levels generally in 2012.
“It is the council’s intention to follow through with court proceedings and subsequently to ensure collection of all debts due.
“Ennis Town Council is encouraging businesses in financial difficulty to make contact with its Finance Department in order to discuss a payment plan,” he added.
Meanwhile, Clare County Council and Kilrush Town Council are faring better than the county town when it comes to collecting commercial rates.
At the end of last year, the county authority had collected as much as 80 per cent of its rate, while just over three-quarters of Kilrush’s businesses had paid their commercial rates (76 per cent) as against the figure of 57 per cent for Ennis.

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Claire Gallagher is a multi-award winning journalist with more than 15 years experience in media. The Galwegan began her career in radio working in news and current affairs. Having spent a year on the dark side – political PR and Spin – she returned to journalism and has since then worked mainly in print – regional and national – while continuing to work with the broadcast media. She has been with the Clare People since its foundation in 2005. She was awarded “Young Irish Medical Journalist of the Year” in June 2008 while working with the paper. Twitter @galocon Facebook ClaireGallagherClarePeople

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