Council Spending: Does it add up to good value?

I’ve been waiting for Virgin Media to rock up with a new modem, so I thought I’d do a quick trawl of what Telford & Wrekin Borough Council spent during February 2013.

Councillor Bill McClements. Cabinet Member for Resources & Service Delivery
Councillor Bill McClements. Cabinet Member for Resources & Service Delivery

We’re fortunate that they publish online every invoice over £100, so this information is easy to get hold of. Some of the entries are redacted (hidden) for fairly good reason, but it’s a fair representation of where your hard-earned council tax goes.

There is some reading here  and here if you want a quick gloss over the Shropshire Star coverage and comments.

Ultimately, Councillor Bill McClements, cabinet member responsible for the budget, reckons the average increase is just 32p per household. Hold that thought and read on…

Here are 5 FACTS about how your money was spent in Feb 2013:

1) £47,598.24 was spent with Orange on mobile phones. Thats about a pound for every household, or 25p per household per week.

2) £52,135 was spent across three Taxi firms. Thats about £1.30 for every household, or 33p per household per week.

3) £120,305.83 was spent with Arriva. Thats about £3 for every household, or 75p per household per week.

4) £114,509 on Computer hardware/software/consumables. Thats about £2.85 per household, or 71p per week.

5) £11,418.93 on Advertising. This includes advertising for the Theatre and stuff. Thats about 28p per household, or 7p a week.

Although some of the cost centres are mis-coded, this information is as good as we’re likely to get.

These figures pale into insignificance when you consider some of these big ticket spends:

External Foster Care Payments: £285,556.29
Pre School Playgroups: £552,895.44
Residential Care: £410,477.21

Why not go and have a trawl through yourself.  Virgin never did turn up.

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