Fingal Independent

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County Council trying to tackle issue of non-payment of commercial water rates

FINGAL COUNTY Council said it collects a greater than average portion of its commercial water rates but accepts that it can do better with about two-thirds of companies paying their dues for water.

Cllr Kieran Dennison (FG) raised the issue at Fingal County Council's November meeting and said that companies that were paying the water rates were subsidising the companies who were not paying up. The council said that there are over 4,700 metered commercial water charge customers in the Fingal area that are billed on a quarterly basis.

A local authority statement on the issue said: 'While our collection figures would be above the national average, it is accepted that they can be improved. 'Specific measures have been, and continue to be, put in place to address this issue.' To tackle the problem the council said there has been the recent introduction of high specification debt management software which will facilitate ' timely intervention on accounts that fall into arrears' There is also a review underway of the council's meter reading and billing processes with a view to ensuring accurate and early billing of customers and a review of billing frequency.

The council said: ' There is extensive ongoing customer contact with reminders, phone calls etc. to customers in arrears. 'In a limited number of cases where customers simply will not engage with us, supplies are restricted or disconnected. 'While the current economic climate and lack of access to credit facilities remains an issue for many of our customers, steady progress is being made with collecting arrears of water charges and I do expect to see further progress in this area.'