Cut Council payment times to help local businesses

Jo wants East Dunbartonshire Council to set a lower target for payment times to local businesses

Jo Swinson has urged East Dunbartonshire Council to cut the time it takes to pay bills to local businesses, to help them through the economic downturn.

In a letter to Chief Executive Sue Bruce today, Jo Swinson calls for the Council to take up a scheme adopted by Islington Council in London, to reduce payment times for locally-based small and medium suppliers to 10 days.

Commenting on the proposal, Jo said:

“Local businesses play such an important role in the East Dunbartonshire economy that it is vital that the Council does everything it can to help them through the current economic downturn.

“Liberal Democrat-run Islington Council in London has agreed to pay all invoices to small and medium-sized businesses based in Islington within 10 days, while keeping to its 30-day target for all other suppliers. The UK Government has also pledged that public-sector clients will aim to pay small firms within 10 days.

“I have urged East Dunbartonshire Council to adopt a similar approach to making prompt payments to local companies. With businesses finding credit hard to come by, paying bills promptly and ensuring a dependable cash flow makes all the difference.

“A 10 day target for payments to small and medium-sized businesses is one useful step that the Council could take to provide some relief to those businesses feeling the strain as this difficult economic period starts to bite.”

The policy adopted by Islington Council last month will:

  • pay all local (Islington-based) small and medium suppliers within 10 days.
  • maintain the 30-day target for all other suppliers outside Islington.
  • review the impact and operation of the changes after 3 months

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