The guiding principle for any spending made by the council is that it must be expenditure required for the explicit purpose of council business. Council expenditure must not be made for personal gain but must be for the general benefit of the taxpayer through the delivery of council services and must be value for money.

The following are examples where expenditure from council funds is not allowed unless the express prior approval of Chris Ward, Director of Finance & s151 Officer has been given:

  • Gifts (including flowers and chocolates ) and any reward for staff unless it meets the criteria laid down by the Director of HR, Legal and Procurement such as honoraria and the like.
  • Teas, coffees and other refreshments except for formal training events. For details of when expenditure is allowed on refreshments visit the View page on the intranet.
  • Christmas or other office decorations with the exception of care homes.
  • Christmas or other office parties and office celebrations.
  • Staff lunches (except as part of a formal event, see 2 above, and where it is part of an employee's employment conditions).
  • On any personal item.
  • Payment of fines or personal insurances or insurance excesses.

Expenditure is allowed on basic equipment to meet the Health and Safety needs that a reasonable employer should provide, except where equipped kitchens are provided in the vicinity for staff to use.

The types of equipment that can be purchased includes kettles, fridges, microwaves, heaters and fans, and must be shared between a number of staff and approved by the relevant director. 

If you need to pay for things as part of your job, including general expenses such as travel, you should either use a purchasing card, or claim travel or subsistence expenses via payroll - as of 25 January 2016, staff will no longer be able to make petty cash claims via the Civic Offices cashiers.

Volunteers and placement students should claim expenses via cashiers using the claim form at the bottom of this page. 

The lists on this page are not intended to be exhaustive, but are real examples of inappropriate spending from council funds. If you are in any doubt as to whether council funds can be used for a purchase, please email internal audit

The council has Financial Rules, setting out the framework for all spending of public funds which can be found on Policy Hub.


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