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Where Norfolk County Council spent £80m of your money in September - search our table to find out

PUBLISHED: 15:38 08 November 2016 | UPDATED: 14:36 20 January 2017

The landfill site at Blackborough End, near King's Lynn.

The landfill site at Blackborough End, near King's Lynn.

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We’ve published details of more than 20,000 payments made by Norfolk County Council in September showing spending on everything from the cost of caring for the elderly to cleaning windows.

The council is required to publish every payment it makes over £500 on its website each month.

It also publishes transactions made on the Government Procurement card which public sector organisations use to pay for cheaper items.

We’ve taken that data and made it into a searchable table which we will update each month.

It means you can find out where your money has been going by searching the table for a particularly area of spending or company name.

Accounts published by Norfolk County Council show where £80m of taxpayers' cash was spent in September. Accounts published by Norfolk County Council show where £80m of taxpayers' cash was spent in September.

Almost 1,700 organisations got cash from the council in September - the last month for which data is available - earning a total of £80m.

The biggest earners

Adult social care is the single biggest single cost, with that council department spending £35m in the month.

Cuts to Norfolk adult social care, which critics say could increase homelessness, agreed - by narrowest of margins. Photo: John Stillwell/PA Wire Cuts to Norfolk adult social care, which critics say could increase homelessness, agreed - by narrowest of margins. Photo: John Stillwell/PA Wire

And of the top ten biggest single beneficiaries of council cash, three supply adult care - Norse Care, Independence Matters CIC and Norfolk Community Health and Care Trust.

The first and fourth biggest beneficiaries are Tarmac and Balfour Beatty. Tarmac was paid more than £6.1m in September. It has a contract with Norfolk County Council worth around £40m a year to repair and maintain roads.

Balfour Beatty was paid £2.66m. It has a contract with the council to build the Northern Distributor Road (NDR).

Another of the biggest single earners, FCC Recycling has contracts with the council to dispose of waste at the Aldeby landfill site near Beccles, Blackborough End near King’s Lynn, as well as at sites in Thetford, Shipdham and Costessey.

Foster care was also a huge expense for the council, with £1.5m spent on foster care agencies and £207,000 paid to foster parents directly.

Management consultants for a review of foster care cost the council £8,200 in September. The review found some foster carers had been wrongly treated by the council.

The smallest earners...

Smaller claims include £536 for animal boarding fees, £625 for weights for scales, and £1,332 for an electronic counter to monitor the number of people using Norfolk Trails.

It also spent £468 on school merit stickers and £2,467 to clean windows.

...and the quirkiest

The council also spent £2,149 on paternity tests in September.

It said paternity testing was carried out in “a small number of cases during care proceedings, where it is in the interests of the child to establish the identity of the biological father”.

A spokesperson added: “This is particularly relevant where the father’s extended family could provide care for the child as an alternative to other options, such as adoption and fostering.”

The accounts show £13,000 was spent on hospitality. Most of that was spent by the council’s troubled children’s services department which logged separate hospitality expenses of £600, 20 times in September.

The person who got the money for the hospitality expenses was redacted on each occasion.

•Search the table above to see where council cash was spent

•Data taken from the Norfolk County Council website correct as of 8.11.16

•Do you have a story which needs investigating? Email tom.bristow@archant.co.uk or call 01603 772834

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