Too Costly To Say How Much Is Spent In Each Ward, Says Caerphilly Council

Caerphilly Council says it is too costly to provide a record of how much capital spending takes place in each ward of the county borough.

Councillor Lindsay Whittle, leader of the opposition Plaid Cymru group, described the revelation as unacceptable and said councillors need to be better informed of spending in their wards.

Plaid Cymru submitted a request under the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act for capital spending in an initial seven wards - Penyrheol, Trecenydd and Energlyn, Aber Valley,  Llanbradach, Hengoed, Ystrad Mynach,  St Cattwg,  and St Martin's over the last five years.

To provide a breakdown. the council said it would involve looking at 70,500 transactions and that would prove too costly under financial limits set for the FOI Act.

Councillor Lindsay Whittle said: “I’m very surprised that ward-level data is not kept on capital spending.  I find that unacceptable.

“Councillors from all parties clearly need to be better informed so they can gauge better where the council is spending the public’s money.

“Surely there is a computer programme available in 2022 that would make this type of information easily accessible.”

Fellow Plaid Cymru councillor Greg Ead added:  “I find it staggering that Caerphilly CBC is saying it will take so long to identify this information. Anyone who has half-decent competency with Excel should be able to analyse expenditure across a range of factors including wards. Are they seriously saying that they are unable to do this, or are they just unwilling?”

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