WISBECH: Former business partner given one last chance to pay off council tax debt

PUBLISHED: 10:47 19 January 2009 | UPDATED: 08:50 02 June 2010

SIMON LEE

SIMON LEE

A FORMER partner in a now-closed family business admitted he needs to clear his council tax arrears, when he was given one last chance to pay off his debt. Simon Lee, a former partner in J and S Lee Potatoes, was given a suspended prison sentence on the g

A FORMER partner in a now-closed family business admitted he needs to clear his council tax arrears, when he was given one last chance to pay off his debt.

Simon Lee, a former partner in J and S Lee Potatoes, was given a suspended prison sentence on the grounds he pays Fenland District Council a lump sum in the region of £1,500 and £30 every fortnight.

Nearly £4,500 of Lee’s £8,295.21 outstanding debt was also wiped off by Fenland magistrates.

Lee, 48, of Clarkson Avenue, Wisbech, was summonsed to court for non-payment of council tax and told magistrates: “I know this has been going on for a long time and needs to be cleared up.”

Roger Glazebrook, mitigating, added that Lee was set to borrow up to £1,500 from the Government because he is currently unemployed.

“He is willing to pay that directly to the council,” Mr Glazebrook said.

Nigel Adams, prosecuting for the council, said Lee owned two homes and rented out both. But no council tax was paid on either home and Lee was liable for payment.

“In August 2005 we made contact with Mr Lee regarding the arrears and he agreed to pay £190,” said Mr Adams. “Arrangements were set up but no payment was made.”

One of the homes, in Westfield Road, Wisbech, has been sold by Lee.

Lee was found guilty of culpable negligence and will face a 90-day prison sentence if he fails to keep up with payments.

Sue Morris, chairman of the bench, said: “If you carry on paying £30 a fortnight for three years that pays off £3,840 but your debt is actually quite a lot more than that so we are going to remit £4,455.21.

“You are getting a bigger chunk taken off than what you are going to pay, but you are still going to go to prison if you do not keep up with payments.”

J and S Lee Potatoes, of Leverington, went into receivership in April 2007 and was fined £20,000 four months later for ignoring a council order to remove caravans being used to house migrant workers.


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