Oldham Council’s early payment programme hits new eight-figure milestone
After partnering up with London-based Oxygen Finance in 2011 to implement a new early payment programme and boost the local economy with prompt payments for suppliers, Oldham Council has revealed that £75m has now been accelerated through the scheme.
Close to 300 local companies have benefited since the introduction of the scheme, according to the council;
Jim McMahon OBE, the leader of both Oldham Council and LGA Labour Group, said: “We know we need to make every pound we spend go even further, so we focus on delivering social value.
“We select suppliers for every contract now based on what they’ll do for our local economy - like paying residents fair wages, caring for our environment and creating local jobs as part of Get Oldham Working.”
He added: “Becoming the first public sector body to sign up to Oxygen’s Early Payment in 2012 supports that approach.”
Today, the approach is in use by a growing number of local authorities across the UK.
Oldham Council’s Gaynor Gamble commented: “Improving our ordering and payments process has had a positive impact right across the council; it has improved internal compliance, increased efficiency and strengthened relationships with suppliers and stakeholders.”
Simon Whittle, a client solutions director at Oxygen Finance, which opened a new base of operations in the North West at the beginning of September, said Oldham Council is “thinking outside the box” to alleviate the pressures of rising costs.
He said the council’s: “forward-thinking approach represents a major success story in generating new income that is used to protect frontline jobs and services as well as creating operational efficiencies and, importantly, transforming the cash flows of its SME suppliers.
“The early payment solution that we have developed together with Oldham Council has become the benchmark and inspiration for other local authorities, ensuring that millions of pounds of liquidity is accelerated throughout the supply chain, boosting local economies.”
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