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Kirklees Council set to write off huge debt owed by department store Peters

Legal moves to recover cash have come to nothing

Council taxpayers in Huddersfield will have to foot the bill for a huge debt run up by a store in the town.

Kirklees Council has admitted it is unlikely to be able to recover more than £160,000 owed to the authority by Peters, which went bust last month but re-opened as a new business two weeks ago.

There has been a lot of anger since details of the huge debts run up by the company were revealed this week.

The biggest creditor of the previous company was Kirklees Council, which according to official figures was owed £180,000.

Peters is now a fashion and accessories store
Peters is now a fashion and accessories store

Now the authority has confirmed that it is unlikely to get the money.

A council spokesperson said: “The debt owed to Kirklees Council in business rates is just over £160,000.

“The council had taken action to recover these debts in accordance with standard legal procedures. At the point the bankruptcy proceedings started, there was an arrangement in place to pay off some of the arrears

“As it appears the council will be unable to recover all of the money due, Peters’ failures will mean both the council (and ultimately its residents) and the Government will have to share the loss of anticipated income.”

The Packhorse Centre store went into voluntary liquidation last month with debts of more than £834,000 to over 100 creditors from Cornwall to Blackburn.

In a summary of liabilities, the liquidators, Huddersfield’s Brook Business Recovery Ltd, give the ‘estimated total deficiency’ as £912,213.51.

Thirty staff, most of them part-time, were made redundant.

Peters is now a fashion and accessories store - David and Caroline Whittle continue to greet the customers
Peters is now a fashion and accessories store - David and Caroline Whittle continue to greet the customers

The store reopened on February 6 as Peters after David and Caroline Whittle bought the name through the liquidator.

At the reopening Mr Whittle said: “The company is now C&D Retail Ltd and the store is a completely new business and will be a fashion and accessory store.”

It is not the first time the shop has run into financial problems.

READ MORE: Huddersfield store Peters goes into liquidation but will reopen on Saturday

READ MORE: Full scale of Peters' debts revealed - £912,213.51

In February 2006 the company was placed in the hands of Leeds-based administrators Kroll Ltd with a Summary of Liabiliites showing a figure of £824,216 in debts.

Initially the Whittle family left the business but Kroll decided that it could be saved and ran it as a going concern.

The family were not away for long though and later that year with backing from one of their concession partners the store was brought out of administration and resumed trading. The latest moves have attracted dozens of comments on social media and many were angry at the situatuion.

Peters opened its new store in The Pack Horse Centre, Huddersfield, last January. It closed last month.
Peters opened its new store in The Pack Horse Centre, Huddersfield, last January. It closed last month.

Huddersfield reacts to Peter's debts

Mark Bottomley: How do they get away with it?£900k,£180k to kmc. If you miss a council tax payment they are on your back...why was it allowed to get up to £180k?

Sarah L Beech: Disgusting, I hope that nobody shops here I will certainly tell people not to. We shouldn’t allow this behaviour of walking away from debt.

Anthony Heywood: I don’t understand why people are willing to go back into business with them, I wouldn’t rent them my bike

Liz Newton:Some of those debts are probably owed to small suppliers who were relying on that money to pay their own staff.

David Herd: They shouldn’t even have enough money to tie their shoelaces never mind 7k to buy stock and fixtures and fittings valued at 76k back , how on earth can that be right?

Gavin Screen: I’m sure the creditors aren’t smiling me and my entire family will be boycotting that shop, the system must change.

Andrew Beaumont: How many more time is going to be allowed? They owe all that money to lots of out of pocket businesses, something very wrong with the system



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