Frequently asked questions about council spending
How much does the council spend in total?
The council spends just over £1bn in a normal year on services
to the public, benefit payments and investment in homes and local
council’s budget book with full details can be accessed
What do I do if I have any questions?
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or
check out our
Freedom of Information Act disclosure log.
Can I use this data as I see fit?
You can use the data for pretty much any purpose. The
details of the licence are here.
Why is some information excluded?
The council does not publish information on
payments to its staff or pensioners, or to foster parents, to
protect the privacy of those people. A
separate list of senior staff and their pay may be found
Why is some information removed or redacted from the
The council is under a legal duty of care not
to reveal certain details. This includes:
- People’s personal names, for example the
names of social care clients or children in care
- Information that has been provided to us in
- Information that is commercially
- In these cases we provide as much information
as we can, and remove or redact the minimum amount necessary. The
examples of this are relatively limited compared to the amount of
information we do publish.
Why is there a separate listing for purchase cards?
The council uses a system of purchase cards
provided to certain authorised officers for certain limited types
of purchases. This works through a separate system provided with
the council’s bank, it is not possible easily to combine the two
Why are some of the items similar. Does this indicate duplicate
No. It probably indicates that there was
one more than one similar item billed for on the same
invoice. The council’s financial systems have built-in checks
to avoid duplicate payments.
Can the council spend its budget how it likes?
No, the council must spend its money in a way
that provides value for money. People have different views
about what adds value, which is why elected Members have an
important role in allocating resources.
We set each manager a budget each year and
they are not authorised to spend more than that amount, and every
manager is responsible for ensuring that everything their
department spends adds value and that nothing is wasted.
We have controls in place that ensure services
are procured in accordance with the law and provide best
value. In a very large and complex organisation, mistakes can
be made, but we do everything we reasonably can to make sure that