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Research shows councils in the Northern Powerhouse are supporting businesses better than London

Councils in the Northern Powerhouse are paying small and local businesses more promptly than those in London according to series of Freedom of Information requests from the Forum of Private Business.

Analysis by the small business and lobby group has shown that London is the slowest payer of any region or major conurbation in the UK, taking 22 days to settle bills.

 

Figure 1: Ranking of regions on payment speed (mean figures)

 

Proportion paid within 10 days

Proportion paid within 30 days

Average time taken to settle bills

 

Percentage

Rank

Percentage

Rank

Percentage

Rank

East of England

45%

9

91.7%

5

17.59

7

East Midlands

61%

2=

94.2%

1

15.51

3

London

66%

1

89.4%

9

22.00

9

North East

58%

5

92.3%

4

16.16

4

North West

59%

4

92.4%

3

14.56

2

South East

50%

7

92.8%

2

16.31

5

South West

56%

6

90.4%

7

17.44

6

West Midlands

61%

2=

90.1%

8

14.22

1

Yorkshire

46%

8

91.3%

6

19.59

8

 

Tyne and Wear showed the fastest payment terms with 73% of bills settled within 10 days and the average time taken to pay businesses being just over 13 days.  Councils within West Yorkshire (Leeds, Bradford etc) paid on average in half the time of London Boroughs.  As in 2012, Kirklees was the best performing council in the area.

Figure 2: Payment terms in major conurbations

 

Under 10 days

Under 30 days

Average time taken to pay

Greater London

66%

89%

22.0

West Midlands

60%

88%

12.2*

Greater Manchester

52%

90%

17.0

Merseyside

55%

91%

16.0

Tyne & Wear

73%

94%

13.2

South Yorkshire conurbation

58%

72%

n/a*

West Yorkshire conurbation

53%

92%

11.0

* Half of the authorities in question did not hold this information or report it.

 

Only the West Midlands did not perform as well as the capital, as the 12.2 day is based on a very small number of councils with Sandwell the best performing council locally.  In 2012 the best performing council in the region was Bromsgrove.

 

North West councils were more likely to show faster overall payment terms than in 2012, however payment terms for payment in 30 days dropped albeit not as severely as in London.

 

A comparison between the rateable values of commercial premises and the time taken to settle bills, shows that London will benefit undeservedly from the Chancellor’s vision to give 100% of the proceeds of business rates back to councils.  In contrast the Midlands and North East will be penalized by the proposed policy.

 

Figure 3: Comparison of time taken to settle bills by potential business rates receipts

 

Number of properties

Average rateable value (£)

Total rateable value (£ million)

Regional rank based on rateable value

Ranking on average time to settle bills

East Midlands

147,582

24,716

3,648

8

7

East of England

184,197

28,703

5,287

4

3

London

306,231

54,028

16,545

1

9

North East

54,360

31,279

1,700

9

4

North West

237,118

25,654

6,083

3

2

South East

285,174

31,738

9,051

2

5

South West

176,536

24,731

4,366

7

6

West Midlands

184,507

26,071

4,810

6

1

Yorkshire and the Humber

190,560

25,283

4,818

5

8

Source: IFS http://www.ifs.org.uk/budgets/gb2014/gb2014_ch11.pdf

 

Ian Cass, Managing Director of the Forum stated: “Paying suppliers on time is absolutely crucial to the recovery of the British economy and we are pleased to see that cuts to local government have not dented the professionalism of local authorities in paying their suppliers.”

 

“The major conurbations of the Midlands and North have generally responded well to the need to support their supply chain in contrast to some larger firms.”

“There are however concerns that some councils are not able to report how many bills are paid in 30 days which may indicate operational issues within these councils.  London showed a particularly poor response rates with under half of councils reporting figures on the average time to pay.”

“The Chancellor’s vision to give more business rates to local councils will in effect reward councils in a city which has increased payment terms over the last 3 years.  Is this the sort of behaviour that should be rewarded?” concludes Mr Cass.

ENDS

Notes to editors

The Forum has created a report including data from all the Freedom of Information requests that were received in the 20 days.

 

Figures for major conurbations are shown below:

Major Connurbations

 

Figure 42: Performance of councils in the West Midlands Connurbation 2012 to 2015

 

Under 10 days

Under 30 days

Average time

Council

2015

2012

2015

2012

2015

2012

Walsall

No data

n/a

91.0%

240=

12.8

67

Sandwell

88.4%

14

96.9%

105

No data

n/a

Wolverhampton

85.9%

26

99.6%

7

6.4

14

Coventry

82.0%

41=

89.0%

263=

No data

n/a

Dudley

70.4%

79

99.1%

18=

9.3

33

Birmingham

59.6%

117

96.3%

123

12.3

62

Solihull

23.9%

242

82.1%

300

No data

n/a

Average

68.4%

n/a

93.4%

n/a

10.2

n/a

 

Figure 43: Performance of councils in Greater Manchester 2012 to 2015

 

Under 10 days

Under 30 days

Average time

Council

2015

2012

2015

2012

2015

2012

Bolton

23%

No data

95%

94.40%

18.11

19

Stockport

35%

89.00%

86%

99.00%

21.00

30

Trafford

83%

75.40%

96%

96.00%

16.60

19.6

Oldham

1%

64.20%

92%

96.30%

no data

No data

Rochdale

93%

62.70%

87%

97.30%

18.10

11.5

Bury

no data

60.80%

no data

90.80%

no data

16

Wigan

69%

56.20%

93%

94.20%

11.03

13.2

Manchester

60%

50.00%

85%

81.00%

no data

23

Salford

no data

16.00%

no data

92.00%

no data

25

Tameside

no data

15.00%

no data

87.30%

no data

18

Average

52%

54.40%

90%

92.80%

16.97

19.48

 

Figure 44: Performance of councils in Merseyside 2012 to 2015

 

Under 10 days

Under 30 days

Average time

Council

2015

2012

2015

2012

2015

2012

St Helens

no data

No data

no data

93.00%

no data

No data

Knowsley

79%

72.20%

99%

98.80%

14.5

No data

Wirral

38%

43.70%

84%

84.60%

No data

21.6

Liverpool

48%

34.10%

87%

96.70%

17.47

15.8

Sefton

no data

21.00%

no data

81.00%

no data

No data

Average

55%

42.70%

90%

90.80%

15.99

18.72

 

Figure 45: Performance of councils in Tyne & Wear 2012 to 2015

 

Under 10 days

Under 30 days

Average time

Council

2015

2012

2015

2012

2015

2012

South Tyneside

57%

No data

95%

No data

14.33

No data

North Tyneside

89%

No data

98%

94.00%

12

12

Sunderland

92%

88.80%

97%

97.40%

7.4

12

Gateshead

43%

56.50%

83%

92.40%

19

13

Newcastle upon Tyne

82%

50.00%

96%

90.00%

no data

14.6

Average

73%

65.10%

94%

93.50%

13.18

12.91

 

Figure 46: Performance of councils in West Yorkshire 2012 to 2015

 

Under 10 days

Under 30 days

Average time

Council

2015

2012

2015

2012

2015

2012

Kirklees

91%

94.00%

96%

99.00%

5.07

No data

Bradford

61%

71.60%

90%

94.40%

13.00

16

Calderdale

12%

55.40%

87%

97.70%

7.05

9.8

Wakefield

50%

31.50%

93%

96.40%

19.04

20.3

Leeds

no data

29.80%

93%

90.20%

no data

30

Average

53%

56.50%

92%

95.50%

11.04

19.02

 

Figure 47: Performance of councils in South Yorkshire 2012 to 2015

 

Under 10 days

Under 30 days

Average time

Council

2015

2012

2015

2012

2015

2012

Doncaster

57%

No data

92%

91.70%

not held

No data

Rotherham

67%

60.30%

96%

94.30%

not held

No data

Sheffield

29%

26.00%

87%

90.00%

Not held

23

Barnsley

80%

26.00%

11%

83.00%

10.00

50

Average

58%

37.40%

72%

89.70%

n/a

36.5

Twitter account - https://twitter.com/The_FPB

Forum blog - https://www.fpb.org/blog

 

Media contact for this press release

Thomas Parry

Research Manager

Tel:      01565 626015

Mobile: 07885 888085

Email: thomas.parry@fpb.org

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