HIGH-ranking councillors are meeting next week to consider writing off nearly £40,000 in unpaid council tax.

The ruling Lib Dem Cabinet on SLDC are being told by council officers to forget about ever getting the cash from those who have not paid their annual rates.

A report before the seven members of the council, which meets next Wednesday (March 19) says the outstanding sum of £36,395 is 'irrecoverable' and should be struck off the authority's accounts.

A further £73,944 in unpaid council tax has already been written off by the council's Chief Financial officer - amounting to a total of over £110,000.

Council papers point out that SLDC cannot say who owes the money as it could reveal the financial affairs of those involved, which is protected by legislation.

Every year, the council successfully collects around £66 million in council tax from more than 53,000 payers across South Lakeland.

It says this amounts to a collection rate of over 99 per cent and that 'all recovery procedures' are exhuasted to get people to pay up.

However, it says there are a 'small number' of cases where despite all the recovery processes, the debts cannot be recovered.

Last year, the council set aside £1.2 million for bad debts relating to council tax. The unpaid £110,000 will be met from this budget.

The decision will be made next Wednesday at a meeting in the council chamber in Kendal.