Roberto Moretti, chief executive of Oxygen Finance, is working with a number of local authorities across the country, including Barnsley, Croydon and Oldham, to generate better cashflow within local communities through early payment programmes. Oxygen Finance focus on councils establishing a better relationship and payment scheme with their own suppliers.

He said: “If you had said to me five years ago that the chancellor would be talking about the importance of payment terms in key budget speeches, I wouldn’t have believed you. But it is a topic that has rightly sprung to the top of the agenda – and we know will feature in party manifestos for the forthcoming elections.

“Local authorities and SMEs are under the financial thumb like never before, so it is hugely important for them to work together and create quicker cashflow and build the relationship between council and supplier. In places like Barnsley, Oldham and Croydon, councils have taken the lead and this has already led to the creation of jobs in the area, as well as helping to protect frontline services through critical savings.”