Council publishes spending over five hundred pounds

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Council publishes spending over £500

Monday June 21, 2010

Hammersmith & Fulham Council is today publishing details of spending above £500 as part of a radical revolution in local government transparency.

The move comes as Eric Pickles MP, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, makes a high profile visit to the west London Borough - which is currently Britain’s Council of the Year, as judged by the Local Government Chronicle.

The coalition Government outlined plans aimed at improving the transparency of councils in England and Wales earlier this month and Hammersmith & Fulham (H&F) Council is one the first in the UK to open its books in such a wide ranging and detailed way.

The beacon borough has put spending above £500, for the last three months, online (see link below) and will continue to update its website every financial quarter. The list includes items like car hire, software and utility bills. The company names of suppliers and amounts are published in full.

Council Leader, Cllr Stephen Greenhalgh, says: “We want the public to hold us to account. We have proved with our year-on-year tax cuts and improving services and residents’ satisfaction ratings that councils can deliver more for less and these simple changes will shine a spotlight on every item of council expenditure.

“Everyone at the council will be given another reason to think twice about spending money unnecessarily. We want to be champions of openness and transparency in order to deliver value for money for our residents.”

According to the timetable announced by Mr Pickles earlier this month all councils in England and Wales “should be doing this as a matter of course by the start of next year”, as well as publishing invitations to tender and final contracts on projects over £500.

Mr Pickles added: “It is a good way for local authorities to be accountable to the public, it is a good way to bring down costs, and it is a good way for councils to reflect local need.”

View supplier payments on the Spotlight on spend website» (opens new window)

» Send us your comments now

How about an excel spread sheet rather than PDF ?
From Nick on 26/10/2011 at 08:35
Is this another broken promise by H&F? Poorly executed, partial and deliberately obscure.
From Neil on 09/07/2011 at 11:56
How can I access Jan 2011 over 500 spending?
From hazel on 04/03/2011 at 15:56
As a beacon Council I'm surprised that you have not complied with the Government's requirements on publication of spending data. You have not shown any details of the services or expenditure types this spend relates to, in it's current form it's meaningless. Also worth metioning that the link from this comments page to your terms and conditions of posting doesn't work.
From Kieth on 21/01/2011 at 13:26
I read in The Hammersmith Society News Letter that Hammersmith Council are planning to shut Hammersmith Library. This is very bad news not only for me but for others, and there many, who use this library. I come here at least twice per week, to choose a book, use the computers, the Reference library upstairs is always so full, that if I wish to take out a book, I like to have a whole table to myself for my notes, drawing books etc. That is impossible as there are so many people there. The computers are alsways in use here and upstairs as well. If you continue to think about shutting this Hammersmith Library, I will do everything in my power to stop you. Including going to the press, and not the H & F dictated local newspaper which is so biased.

Reply from the council: We are not proposing to close Hammersmith Library. What we propose to do is to move the current library to a better, modern and more accessible site in Hammersmith town centre. This will mean that we can offer improved, state-of-the-art facilities from a more suitable location. We are currently analysing the results of the recent consultation and this proposal will only go ahead if a suitable site for the library in the centre of Hammersmith is secured.
From Frederika Goulden on 19/09/2010 at 11:51
925,511 was spent on catering services while 184,636 was spent on the department of health?? Seriously??! How does that happen? As a council taxpayer I''d like to suggest trimming the catering services budget.
From Julia on 22/08/2010 at 20:24
I don't think the publication presented on spending data is particularly revolutionary or transparent; a PDF document makes it particularly difficult to analyse the data and, furthermore, unless familiar with each supplier, it is unclear which spending goes on what services. I think this is a cop-out presented with great fanfare, and does your council a disservice.
From S Kumar on 02/08/2010 at 09:17

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