Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Comics, weather forecasts and trips t'pub

H&F Council spent nearly £5k of our taxes on these items last year. The Evening Standard records that a total of £1,388 on comics, £1,375 on weather forecasts and £1,568 on free-running lessons for children was spent along with a bill of £2,218 being racked up at Hammersmith's Old Ship pub, often used for meetings.

Shocking? You betcha. Coming from the Council that also spends hundreds of thousands a year on propaganda that even fellow Conservative Eric Pickles, the Secreatry of State for local government calls "propganda on the rates", this is surely another example of profligacy with our hard earned cash. Hardly putting us first.

But hang on a minute, how do we know this? We do because our Council took the brave step of making all this public, which they didn't have to do. Everything over £500 now has to be published and when our council took that decision they must have known that this sort of dirty washing would emerge - but they still did it. In other words they did what was right instead of what was politically expedient.

So while they get rightly criticised for some of this they should also get a lot of credit for having the guts to clean up their spending by allowing us the chance to scrutinise it. So, on balance, well done H&F Council.

1 comment:

  1. The problem with publishing long lists of payments to suppliers is the lack of context for the purchase leading to judgements such as your own as to hiring the ship and buying comics. Libraries by newspapers and magazines for public use, they also buy graphic novels. 'Council spends £xk on the Times' you might read!. A good example was Eric Pickles lambasting the Audit Commision for spending thousands on sending staff to the races, turned out they had hired meeting rooms for training NHS staff!
    Iain Muir