Rise in late payments by council

Teething trouble with a new council computer system saw a dip in the number of firms paid on time by County Hall, it emerged yesterday.

Teething trouble with a new council computer system saw a dip in the number of firms paid on time by County Hall, it emerged yesterday.

Deputy leader Harry Hum-phrey admitted the council had seen a dip in payments made within a target of 30 days from 90pc to 82pc over the past 12 months and cited two causes - the intro-duction of a new Oracle com-puter system and centralised invoice processing.

He said the authority dealt with 450,000 accounts a year and the drop would be corrected as the systems bedded in.

“I'm satisfied that the appropriate management actions are in place to deliver the improvement in our performance,” he said.

During yesterday's cabinet meeting, John Collip, Labour spokesman for corporate affairs, said: “The county council is a huge supplier and purchaser of services.

“We obviously need to look after our own firms, especially the small and medium-sized ones.”