Here are some frequently asked questions about our
expenditure over £250 reports.
Scroll through the questions or click on the links to skip to
the answer of the question you have.
Why are you publishing these reports?
When did this take effect?
How often do you publish reports?
Where does the data come from?
What do the reports show exactly?
Why do some items say 'individual'?
Is VAT included?
Are any items of expenditure excluded from the
Can I find out more information about any items of
Why do some payments under £500 appear in the list?
Why are you publishing data in two formats?
I'm using the CSV file, but can't see some data. Why is
Can I re-use this data?
Why are you publishing these
In June 2010 the Secretary of State for Communities and Local
Government wrote to all councils asking them to publish items of
spend over £500. From 2013, all councils were asked to publish
items of spend over £250.
When did this take
All councils were expected to publish data from 1 January 2011,
but we decided to publish ahead of that date. You can see
back-dated reports from April 2010 in our
How often do you publish
We publish data monthly following the closure of accounts for
the preceding month.
Where does the data come
The data is taken directly from the our financial management
system and as such is in a fairly raw format.
What do the reports show
The reports show the department originating the payment, the
supplier name, and two indicators of what the payment is for (both
the service area and a description of the spend).
Why do some items say
Where the payment is to an individual, like a foster parent, the
name of the creditor has been replaced with the word ‘individual’
to protect the privacy of the individual and the child.
Is VAT included?
No. The amounts shown exclude the VAT element.
Are any items of
expenditure excluded from the reports?
These items are excluded from reports:
- payments of less than £250
- banking investments
- parish precepts
- election staff payment
- salary advances
- payments relating to employee remuneration
- payments relating to benefits and homelessness payments
- payments relating to vulnerable people or children
Can I find out more information about
any items of expenditure?
We will aim to provide a response in full within ten working
days if you email us at
- the month and year of the report you are querying
- the supplier
- the amount of spend
Any requests for more details about these items will be dealt
a freedom of
Why do some payments under £250
appear in the list?
This be because once the VAT element is included the total
is more than £500, or because an invoice for more than £500 has
been broken down across different areas of expenditure.
Why are you publishing data in two
The PDF format is the easiest way to read the data in but does
not allow the data to be analysed or sorted. If you want to do this
then you should use the CSV file that allows you to put the
data into a spreadsheet.
I'm using the CSV file, but can't
see some data. Why is this?
The CSV format uses a standard column width and not all
entries may be completely visible. To view all the data, expand the
columns by selecting all the cells in the file (the grey box beside
column A and above row 1), and then clicking on
Using the CSV format will also allow you to combine reports from
different months into larger spreadsheets if you wish to analyse
Can I re-use this
This data is freely re-usable under the same terms as