Kirklees Council is refusing to name any construction companies that owe it money to improve roads, schools or playgrounds.
And it has admitted that it may have made administrative errors when it received the sums from some firms so money could be ‘missing’ in its system.
In late October we revealed that Kirklees Council has admitted it is owed £1.4m by companies under Section 106 agreements between 2003 and 2013.
Section 106 money should have been paid to improve roads, enhance schools or provide recreational facilities.
The council accepted that realistically only around £550,000 could now be recovered from the companies – and even then that may prove to be a problem.
As a result we put in an immediate Freedom of Information request asking for a full list of each company, what development they did and how overdue that payment is.
We also asked if any of these companies which had failed to pay had since put in planning applications which have been granted permission?
But in its response the council says: “The council can confirm that no company has refused to make payments nor had their debts formally written off.
“The council’s Section 106 database does record some money as being outstanding and an exercise is being carried out to identify whether any monies have in fact been received by the council which has been allocated incorrectly/incorrectly added in the database so it is showing in the wrong account.
“The council is aware that two companies have gone out of business and so any monies owed may well be written off, but this needs to be investigated further before a formal application for write-off is made to the council’s Cabinet.
“The council believes, therefore, that to disclose the names of any developers who are currently recorded on the Section 106 database as having payments outstanding would be inappropriate pending the outcome of any investigation into the situation.
“The council is therefore refusing to provide the information requested.”