Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting EJ NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Council slow at paying its bills
SMALL traders in Worcestershire are having to wait longer than expected for their bills to be paid by the county council.
New figures show 11 per cent of the bills being paid out by County Hall take more than 30 days to be finalised.
The figure, which relates to the 2012/13 financial year so far, was debated during a meeting of the full council.
Councillor Fran Oborski said: “I find it regrettable that 11 per cent of all our bills are not paid within 30 days.
“Small traders really do need the money flowing – I want to see us taking this seriously.
“We talk a lot about trying do whatever we can to help the local economy, well, paying our bills on time is something we really should be able to achieve.”
The council has to fork out for hundreds of bills each year, including everything from minor repair work at County Hall to projects in schools.
Typically, a large majority of the work is done by small companies or individual traders.
Despite the figure being criticised, 89 per cent of the demands being met settled within 30 days is one of the best performances bosses have been able to achieve in recent years.
The authority said many of the bills get delayed “in the system”
because there are third parties involved, or they need to liaise with schools.
Councillor Adrian Hardman, leader of the council, said: “Although we do spend a lot of time and effort trying to get these bills paid as quickly as possible, we can always do better.
“I am afraid to say that most of the delays are from bills to do with schools.
“I agree that by and large, there is room for improvement, but I don’t have a magic wand to solve it straightaway.
“A lot of the delays are also due to third parties being involved in the process.”
- Have you been affected by the delay? Call Tom Edwards on 01905 742248 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org