Exeter Council (which so far as I can tell is a Lib Dem lead minority administration to the extent it is led by anyone) has spent £70,000 of public money on a lottery funding application that was never submitted.
They spent the money on feasibility studies and a conservation management plan in order to bid for money from the ‘Parks For People’ scheme. Officials discovered afterwards that the plans, for gardens in
Northernhay and Rougemont, did not meet the criteria of the Big Lottery Fund
which is a joint funder of the scheme. Whoops.
There is a wider point that the public sector has become such a bureaucratic hydra (and, let’s face it, the National Lottery is part of the public sector) that vast effort is dispersed in one bit trying to get money from another bit rather than on actually getting on with doing anything useful.