Major Spalding employer in court for £186,000 rates debt

Kerry Foods' factory at Fulney Lane, Spalding.
Kerry Foods' factory at Fulney Lane, Spalding.
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SPALDING firm Kerry Foods – part of an empire worth billions of pounds – owes more than £186,000 in business rates.

The Fulney Lane factory was among 63 businesses taken to court by South Holland District Council on Wednesday.

Kerry Foods owed £186,635 at the time of the Spalding Magistrates’ Court hearing. The total debt for all the businesses stood at £412,765.

The council says the business rate cases include some from last year and the first new cases for this year, but has not said how long it took Kerry Foods to build up its debt.

Kerry Foods is part of Ireland’s Kerry Group plc, which is worth more than five billion euros, and describes itself as “a world leader in food ingredients and flavours”.

The group’s pre-tax profit for the year ending December 31, 2011, was 435.2million euros.

At the time of going to press, there was no comment from Kerry Group. A spokesman at the Spalding factory declined to comment.

The court granted liability orders in all of the business rates cases.

A council spokesman said: “Once we have a liability order for outstanding business rates or Council Tax, we consider our options before deciding upon the appropriate action to take.”

The council also took 94 Council Tax defaulters to court who collectively owe £23,175.

Council portfolio holder Coun Paul Przyszlak said: “We have a responsibility to those who do pay on time to pursue those who don’t.

“If anyone is having problems paying, they should contact us as soon as possible. There is help and advice for those who are genuinely struggling to pay.”