How the council spent your cash

FOR the first time every significant payment made by Daventry District Council (DDC) has been published online.

The council has posted all its expenditures for amounts over £500 in a move encouraged by the new government to introduce more transparency.

The figures cover the financial year from April up to the end of December, and should be updated regularly.

It means people can see how council money is being spent on major projects such as the controversial WaterSpace canal and marina scheme.

Among a number of bills associated with the project, the data shows the council spent £1,240 on a geophysical survey for the site, and a £4,750 on a culvert inspection.

A sum of £12,340 was spent on demolishing the empty houses of 65-73 Brook Street to clear the way for the area to be redeveloped.

Despite the work to level the houses, no further work has started on the development.

It also shows DDC has spent £56,550 with one consulting firm in relation to its ongoing ‘PES project’, which involves investigating contracting out services to private companies including bin collections, street cleaning and maintenance at Daventry Country Park in order to save money.

Chris Millar, leader of the council, said: “Obviously it’s more work for the council officers and it’s costing us money, but it’s an idea of the Government to show that local government, as well as central government, can be transparent, so you can’t really argue.

“It would be wonderful if people looking through it came up with realistic ideas to save money or do things more efficiently – we need all the help we can get in the current climate.”

The figures show the whole spectrum of council costs, from the charges faced to get graffiti removed (£900 in one case), and the cost of weed killing in the town (£2,095.52 for one month) through to the details of payments made during the High Court case with Daventry and District Housing.

More unusually £587.98 was spent on a ‘zoo licensing inspection’ earlier in the year and £1,137.50 on printing ‘chocolate calendars’ by the community partnership team in December.

The information can be found at http://tinyurl.com/5vnnyot along with allowances claimed by councillors and senior staff pay.