Children’s service boss was paid £15,000 a month - and six other things we found looking at where Norfolk County Council spends your money

Around �70,000 was spent on grass cutting. Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Around �70,000 was spent on grass cutting. Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Grass cutting, clearing snow and searching for social workers - find out where Norfolk County Council spent almost £208m of your money in January, February and March by exploring our table.

Asphalt is put down on the Norwich Northern Distributor Road. Pic: Norfolk County Council.

Asphalt is put down on the Norwich Northern Distributor Road. Pic: Norfolk County Council. - Credit: Norfolk County Council

We've put 32,225 payments made by the council in those three months into the table below.

You can search for the name of the business which got the money, the name of the council department which spent it or the reason given for spending the money.

Here are some of the things we found out:


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•Children's services boss got £15,000 a month

https://infogr.am/norfolk_county_council_spending_january_march_2017

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The last interim head of children's services, Andrew Bunyan, was paid more than £30,000 for two months work in December and January.

His company, called AB Development and Consultancy Solutions Ltd, was paid £15,231 and £14,909 for work in those two months.

He held the post between November 2016 and February 2017. In November the previous head, Michael Rosen, left the department, which is rated 'inadequate' by Ofsted, after inspectors said it was not improving fast enough. Since then there has been better news from Ofsted and the department is now led by new interim director Matt Dunkley.

•The £30,000 search for staff

One of the problems facing children's services is a lack of social workers - and the council spent £30,000 in March on a company called Reed Business Information Ltd to recruit staff.

Andrew Bunyan, the previous interim director of children's services at Norfolk County Council. Pic:

Andrew Bunyan, the previous interim director of children's services at Norfolk County Council. Pic: Norfolk County Council. - Credit: Norfolk County Council

The council said this was the first payment of a contract that children's services has with the firm to recruit more social workers. It includes adverts, careers fairs and branding.

•No area drains council coffers more than care...

Around £35m was spent on adult nursing and residential care, another £8m was spent on supported living for adults and £7.7m on domiciliary care. The adult social care department spent the most money at £81.3m. And Norse Care, which is owned by the County Council and provides care homes, was one of the single biggest beneficiaries of council spending - receiving almost £8m.

•...and roads

Highways work cost almost £17.3m over the three months with work on the Northern Distributor Road (NDR) near Norwich taking the biggest chunk of that.

Balfour Beatty, the firm building the NDR, received £11m.

Tarmac, meanwhile, which has a contract with Norfolk County Council worth around £40m a year to repair and maintain roads, received almost £7m.

•Fostering is big business

Almost £4.7m was spent on fostering children who had been taken into care. The children's services department is trying to reduce this by using their own foster carers rather than relying on foster care agencies. Four foster care agencies were paid more than £500,000 from January to March, with Fostering Solutions Ltd getting £624,000, Nexus Fostering Ltd receiving £790,000 and Anglia Fostering Agency getting £884,000. The National Fostering Agency, meanwhile, was paid £1.3m.

•Even cutting the grass doesn't come cheap

The bill for cutting grass along the roadside was £72,663. This money went to district and parish councils.

And even though it was a mild winter £622,732 was spent on 'snow clearing' from roads.

•We paid a London council £681,000 for IT

Norfolk paid Newham Council in East London a total of £681,774 for 'ICT professional advice and services'. The council signed a contract with Newham in April last year for IT services.

And the IT links between the two councils were strengthened in May last year when the former head of ICT in Newham, Geoff Connell, was made head of ICT and information management at Norfolk.

•Councils are required to publish every payment they make over £500 on their websites. This information was correct at time of publication.

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