Mr Reasonable has been eagerly awaiting the publication of the last quarter's supplier payments over £500. This evening it was published and it contains a number of surprises. Clearly someone at Barnet Council is fed up with Mr Reasonable and other eagle eyed residents like Mrs Angry exposing waste, so what have they done? REDACTED - a posh phase for covering up the information. Now I can understand that payments to individuals can, in certain circumstances, be confidential. However, this quarter the list has grown dramatically to 756 lines totaling £2.79 million. It includes three payments of £287,005.50 each which are classified as "Other Services" for the Environment and Operations Department. Frankly, I cannot believe that so many payments are personal especially when a number of them are classified as building repairs and maintenance, consult fees, print contract, grounds maintenance, agency staff and even conference expenses. To me this is a two fingered gesture to the residents of Barnet. It makes a mockery of the whole process. Either publish the figures properly or don't bother wasting everyone's time with the illusion that you are trying to be transparent.
Oh and by the way, I hope the council staff who held their conference at the Sandbanks Hotel in Dorset had a lovely time. It cost us a total of £15,288.72. It is a rather posh place.