A new survey conducted by the Forum of Private Business (FPB) has shown South Northants Council (SNC) is one of only a few local authorities in England to pay suppliers on time.
SNC came second in the league tables after the survey found it payed 96.1 per cent of invoices within 10 days. Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council came top.
Phil Orford, chief executive of FPB, said: “Our research quite clearly shows there are two types of local council out there.
“Those that get the idea prompt payment to all firms, whatever their size, is vital. These we salute. Then there are those who don’t give a thought about their many suppliers, for whatever reason, and have also chosen not to listen to Government guidelines on paying invoices in under 10 days.
“These councils know who they are and must improve their payment processes immediately.”
Councillor Ian McCord, SNC’s lead member for resources, said: “With interest rates so low, there is little point in local government holding cash when businesses need it.
“I want all contractors to know that if you trade with SNC and you get your invoices presented correctly, you will be paid.
“We know how important it is for small businesses in particular to be paid promptly as delay can cause real cash flow problems, which ultimately can see firms go under.”