As mentioned in an earlier post Labour-run Oxford City Council is amongst those who jumped before they were pushed on spending transparency. Good for them. You can read their payments to suppliers over £500 here. They haven't yet got a description for what each item of spending is for – once this is provided the process will be rather more intelligible to the long suffering Council Taxpayers of Oxford.
But already the raw material means they are feeling the heat of accountability from the media. Why did they spend £885 on Claire's Accessories? They didn't – it was a refund for an overpaid licence fee. So the Council beat the rap on that one.
Why did they spend £1,374 on a laser games firm? It was for laser games hire for the Leys Fair and Florence Open Day. Sounds fair enough. I don't know how many residents came along or whether there was revenue for the Council offsetting their costs. But anyway we don't want to be "gloomadon poppers", as Boris would say.
On some other items they are in more trouble. The £1,607.43 was for overcoats to wear at funerals. Shouldn't they pay for their own overcoats? There was also £559.31 to Dartington Crystal. They haven't worked out what it was for yet. My guess would be leaving presents. Shouldn't leaving presents be paid by a whip round among the remaining staff? Given some of the pay offs to senior Council officers and their pension entitlements, should the Council Taxpayers really have to pay for those retiring to have a glass bowl as well?