Transparency

Transparency

About the Transparency Code

The government published ‘Local Government Transparency Code 2015′ which recommends parish councils which have a gross annual income or expenditure (whichever is the higher) of a least £200,000 to publish ‘Public Data’.

The Government has implemented this Code of Practice for local authorities to provide greater transparency of public bodies, which is at the heart of their mandate to enable greater democratic accountability over how council tax and public money is spent. However, ‘Public Data’ does not include personal information as this would contravene the Data Protection Act 2018.

Information to be published quarterly

Expenditure exceeding £500

Local authorities must publish details of each individual item of expenditure that exceeds £500. This includes items of expenditure, consistent with Local Government Association guidance, such as:

  • individual invoices
  • grant payments
  • expense payments
  • payments for goods and services
  • grants
  • grant in aid
  • rent
  • credit notes over £500, and
  • transactions with other public bodies.

Response

Details of expenditure exceeding £500 can be found here

Government Procurement Card Transactions

Local authorities must publish details of every transaction on a Government Procurement Card.

Response

The Town Council does not use a government procurement card.

Procurement Information

Publish details of every invitation to tender for contracts to provide goods and/or services with a value that exceeds £5,000. Publish details of any contract, commissioned activity, purchase order, framework agreement and any other legally enforceable agreement with a value that exceeds £5,000.

Response

The Town Council only seeks tenders on contracts of value £25,000 or over. No tenders have been sought in the past ten years. Details of contracts in excess of £5,000 are shown on the schedules of expenditure exceeding £500. See here.

 

Information to be published annually

Local Authority Land

Local authorities must publish details of all land and building assets.

Response

Land owned by the Town Council

  • Market Square – area in Wantage Market Place occupied by King Alfred Statue and adjoining off -street car parking areas
  • Victoria Cross (VC) Forecourt – area in front of Bear Hotel and VC Gallery
  • Alfred’s Well – wooded area off Locks Lane
  • Letcombe Fields allotments – allotment site off Willow Lane
  • Stockham Park allotments and play area – land to the north of Saxon Place.
  • Grove Road wooded area – land adjacent to Grove Road and Mably Way to east of MacDermid Autotype Ltd site
  • Naldertown allotments – land lying between Hamfield and KA’s Academy West site.
  • New sections of cemetery at Chain Hill

Other property occupied by the Town Council on lease or by agreement

  • Grove Road allotments
  • Lark Hill allotments
  • Older part of the cemetery at Chain Hill
  • Council offices at The Beacon
  • Storage garage to rear of TSB, north of Market Place
  • Storage garages to east of Orchard House, Portway

Social Housing Asset Value

Local authorities must publish details on the value of social housing assets within local authorities Housing Revenue Account.

Response

The Town Council does not hold any Social Housing Assets.

Grants to Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Organisations

Publish details of all grants to voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations.

Response

A schedule providing details of grants and donations made since April 2015 can be found here

 

Organisation Chart

Publish an organisation chart covering staff in the top three levels of the organisation.

Response

The Town Council currently employs the equivalent of three full time members of  staff.  All staff members work part-time. The Town Clerk works 20 hours per week.  Other staff members are:

  • Deputy Clerk,
  • Town Centre Manager,
  • Clerk’s Assistant,
  • Town Mayor’s PA,
  • Town Project Coordinator and
  • Market Attendant.

In total they work 104 hours per week. All staff members report directly to the Town Clerk.

Trade Union Facility Time

Local authorities must publish the following information on trade union facility time:

  • total number (absolute number and full time equivalent) of staff who are union representatives (e.g. general, learning and health and safety representatives)
  • total number (absolute number and full time equivalent) of union representatives who devote at least 50 per cent of their time to union duties.
  • names of all trade unions represented in the local authority
  • a basic estimate of spending on unions (calculated as the number of full time equivalent days spent on union duties by authority staff that spent the majority of their time on union duties multiplied by the average salary), and
  • a basic estimate of spending on unions as a percentage of the total pay bill (calculated as the number of full time equivalent days spent on union duties by authority staff that spent the majority of their time on union duties multiplied by the average salary divided by the total pay bill)

Response

The Town Council does not have any Trade Union representatives

Parking Account

Local authorities must publish on their website, or place a link on their website to this data if published elsewhere:

  • a breakdown of income and expenditure on the authority’s parking account, and
  • a breakdown of how the authority has spent a surplus on its parking account.

Response

The Town Council car park is free to users. Income is derived from those that overstay or infringe the parking rules. In 2021/22 there was an income of £200. The principal expenditure was business rates of £4,042 which is levied irrespective of income.  There is no surplus to be spent.

Parking Spaces

Local authorities must publish the number of marked out controlled on and off-street parking spaces within their area, or an estimate of the number of spaces where controlled parking space is not marked out in individual parking bays or spaces.

Response

The Town Council has 32  off-street parking spaces located on either side of the King Alfred Statue in Wantage Market Place.

Senior Salaries

The Town Council is required to publish details of any senior employees (including job descriptions, responsibilities, budgets, and number of staff) earning over £58,200 per annum.

Response

No member of staff is paid at the level of £58,200 per annum.

Constitution

Local authorities are already required to make their Constitution available for inspection at their offices under section 9P of the Local Government Act 2000. Local authorities must also, under this Code, publish their Constitution on their website.

Response

Our Standing Orders can be downloaded here.

Pay Multiple

Publish the pay multiple on their website defined as the ratio between the highest taxable earnings for the given year (including base salary, variable pay, bonuses, allowances and the cash value of any benefits-in-kind) and the median earnings figure of the whole of the authority’s workforce.

Response

The pay multiple of the Town Clerk being paid the highest hourly rate versus the median hourly pay rate of all staff members is 1.85.

Fraud

Local authorities must publish the following information about their counter fraud work:

    • number of occasions they use powers under the Prevention of Social Housing Fraud (Power to Require Information) (England) Regulations 2014, or similar powers
    • total number (absolute and full time equivalent) of employees undertaking investigations and prosecutions of fraud
    • total number (absolute and full time equivalent) of professionally accredited counter fraud specialists
    • total amount spent by the authority on the investigation and prosecution of fraud, and
    • total number of fraud cases investigated.

Response

The Town Council has not experienced any incidents of fraud. It has no external responsibility for the detection of fraud.

 

Information to be published once only

Waste contracts

Local authorities must publish details of their existing waste collection contracts at the point they first publish quarterly contract information.

Response

The Town Council hires a skip for removing litter and vegetation from the Chain Hill Cemetery. There is no continuous contract. Each hiring represents an individual contract. The cost of each skip is currently £240.