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Thursday, 18 September 2014

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Bailiffs ordered to seize assets worth £8,044 from Barrow skip firm

A JUDGE has given bailiffs the all-clear to swoop on a Barrow skip firm after more than £8,000 in fines went unpaid.

John Cooper, the boss of JJC Properties, appeared before Furness Magistrates’ Court for the non-payment of fines imposed more than three years ago for breaking environmental laws.

After hearing from the 41-year-old and his accountant, district judge Gerald Chalk sanctioned an order for bailiffs to seize assets up to the £8,044 owed to the court.

The matter stretches back to 2010 when the Environment Agency launched an investigation into the skip hire company, after discovering it did not have a waste permit required to store and remove waste for commercial purposes.

Cooper, of Underwood Terrace, Dalton, admitted in December 2010 that he had failed to comply with environment laws.

He was fined £350, the company was fined £7,000 and he was ordered to pay £2,229 costs.

Cooper, who used to own Cooper’s Chippy in Station Road, Dalton, was asked by Judge Chalk on Tuesday if JJC Properties was still trading.

His accountant, who did not confirm his name, originally said it was trading, but then said it was not.

He added: “The company is disposing of its assets at the moment and is paying off its debts, which are sizeable.”

The accountant said the company, based at Coopers Yard in Park Road, Barrow, has commercial premises to sell which, when completed, will allow it to pay off the debts.

He said in the interim, as a “goodwill gesture”, the company wanted to offer the court up to £150 a month, with a three-month deadline, by which time it would have hoped to tie up a deal to sell the premises and settle the debts.

However, Judge Chalk rejected the offer. The Evening Mail contacted Cooper but he did not respond to comment.

The Environment Agency confirmed JJC has a current permit to take in and treat non-hazardous waste.

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