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Our spending

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In June 2010, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government committed local authorities to publish items of spending over £500 by January 2011 and in October 2014 this was revised to £250.

We publish current year and archives for the previous four years.  The data is available in PDF and CSV formats from Our Spending.  If the data is not available for the year you are interested in then please contact us.

The data is taken from the Authority's accounting system in line with the guidance provided in the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government guidance.

Understanding the data

An explanation of the column headings is provided below:

  • Month: this is the month of the year in which the transaction was posted to the accounting system where 1 = April, 12 = March
  • Date: the date the invoice was posted to the accounting system
  • Category: this is the expenditure category and is the description of the code against which the expenditure is allocated in the accounting system. The coding is in line with the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy's, CIPFA, requirements for Local Authorities.
  • Activity: the overall department incurring the cost (in a number of cases this will be a project within a service)
  • Cost Centre: the service incurring the cost
  • Description: this is the description applied to the expenditure item and is necessarily truncated because there is a limited space within the accounting system for narrative. If any item is incomplete or not clear please contact the persons named below and a full description of the item can be provided. Please quote the reference number of the item (see Transaction Ref below).
  • Supplier: this is the name of the person to whom the payment was made
  • Transaction Ref: this is the unique identifying reference number for the transaction and needs to be quoted if further information is required. Invoice payments are prefaced by "PIN" and Invoice credit notes are prefaced by "PCR"
  • Amount: this is the cost of the transaction and is quoted net of VAT. The amount is shown as a negative figure if the transaction is a refund (invoice credit). Please note that although the threshold for publishing invoice information is £500, all credit notes raised in a period are shown as the value of the credit note reduces the actual amount paid by the Authority to the supplier.

The data we've published under 'organisational spending' excludes:

  • all payments to individuals paid through payroll
  • payments to HM Revenue and Customs relating to VAT and payroll
  • all pension related payments.

A note on data format

The data is provided in PDF format, but has also been made available as a CSV (comma separated value) file. Providing this option means that the file can be easily read in a variety of applications. However, the CSV format uses a standard column width and not all entries may be completely visible. To view all the data, you will need to expand the columns. You can do this by selecting Format/Column/AutoFit Selection from the menu bar.


Expenditure data falls under open public data and is therefore provided for free reuse, including commercial re-use, however, there are some limitations which are applied to its use and distribution, details of which are found under the Open Government Licence delivered by the National Archives.

More information

For more information, email or telephone 01629 816 366.

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