The Taxpayers' Alliance (if you haven't joined, sign up now on their website- it's free) has just published the first in a series of reports on local authority spending- Council Spending Uncovered 1: Publicity.
There is no central source for this information, but TPA researchers have sent out hundreds of FOI requests and combed through the accounts of 450 councils. Their report itemises the spending at nearly all of them (so you can look up your own council).
- The average local authority spends almost £1 million (£985,000) pa on publicity.
- that's double the amount spent in 1996-97: in cash terms the increase is 130 per cent; inflation adjsuted it's still 80 per cent
- The total bill is £450 million.
PS Tyler's just listened to some man from the Local Government Association on BBC R5 saying the TPA doesn't know what it's talking about. Birmingham may spend £10m pa on publicity and spin, he said, but that's only because Birmingham is the biggest council in Europe. The TPA's Matthew Elliott gently pointed out that in the real world, Birmingham's only the eighth largest council in Britain. Tyler's wondering who pays the LGA man's salary. As if we couldn't guess.