Council's �400k stationery bill

Rob GarrattBreckland Council has spent more than �400,000 of your money on stationery over the last three years. Pens, files, notes and paper clips are among products which cost the council up to �150,000 a year.Rob Garratt

Breckland Council has spent more than �400,000 of your money on stationery over the last three years.

Pens, files, notes and paper clips are among products which cost the council up to �150,000 a year.

The true cost of everyday administration has come to light through a freedom of information request to the council, which shows the authority's annual stationery bill for the last five years.

For the 2008/09 financial year the bill stood at �152,598, a rise from �126,277 the year before.

This in turn was more than double the 2006/07 bill of �62,041. So far the council has spent �124,286 this financial year on stationery.

Breckland's stationery bill of �152,598 last year was the largest of any district council in Norfolk, edging in above a similar figure of �152,222 at King's Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council.

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However, these two authorities spent more than twice the next big spender, North Norfolk District Council, which had a bill of �58,500. Elsewhere Great Yarmouth Borough Council claims to have spent less than �8,000 on stationery last year while Norwich City Council's bill was less than �20,000.

A spokesman for Breckland said the bulk of the council's bill was for letters sent out relating to council tax and benefits matters, and that actual stationery cost around �14,000.

Throughout Norfolk councils are spending more than �1m annually on stationery, with Norfolk County Council alone racking up a �463,000 bill last year.