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spotlightonspend enables Council to publish readily digestible and accessible spend data on purchases over £500 in line with Government’s transparency plans

Newbury, Berkshire – 8 November 2010 – Cherwell District Council has become the latest local authority to adopt spotlightonspend, an online transparency platform, designed to radically improve the accessibility, relevance and value of Government spend information to the general public. Cherwell District Council deployed the spotlightonspend platform in October, which is the latest step in the council’s ongoing transparency initiative.

In line with the new ‘Programme for Government’ requirements on public spending, accountability and transparency, which come into effect in January 2011, residents in north Oxfordshire can now see exactly what their council is spending, specifically focusing on all transactions above £500 in value. In addition, the Council’s website provides data that shows chief executive Mary Harpley will have received £138,056 this financial year, while the highest paid councillor is the leader of the Conservative Group Barry Wood who is paid £17,655.

The spotlightonspend platform also enables website visitors to make easy council comparisons, showing Cherwell District Council's total spend is £9,371,607 which is 47% less than the English district council average.

A spokesman for Cherwell District Council said its lower than average spend is a result of "constant focus on costs and reducing expenditure".

James Macnamara, portfolio holder for resources and communications, said: "Publishing the information in this easy-to-access format demonstrates Cherwell's focus on openness and value for money."

The Council’s transparency is made possible through the deployment of Spikes Cavell’s spotlightonspend - an innovative online platform, designed to radically improve the accessibility, relevance and value of Government spend and related information to the general public and open data community. Spikes Cavell has undertaken to adapt the spotlightonspend platform to facilitate access to the Council’s wider transparency agenda, which will enable access by the general public and open data community to these new classes of data.

Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, said, "I'm really excited about the opportunities of transparency and it's something this government is utterly committed to. spotlightonspend demonstrates that, when innovative businesses work with far-sighted public bodies, we can inform the public, reduce costs and improve democracy both locally and nationally.”

"We are delighted to be working with Cherwell District Council,” said Luke Spikes, CEO of Spikes Cavell & Co, which operates the spotlightonspend service. “Cherwell believes transparency is a key condition and driver for the delivery of council services and as a publicly funded organisation, the council believes it has a duty to the residents that it serves to be transparent in its business operations and outcomes. We are pleased to help the Council achieve its goal of full transparency and accessibility.”

Cherwell District Council's financial data will be available to search and view via its website,

spotlightonspend cuts costs, eliminates complexity and reduces risk
spotlightonspend is a managed service that is comprised of everything necessary to cost-effectively facilitate publication of the spend and related information public bodies elect to make available to the general public.
spotlightonspend is designed to:

•enhance the information a public body publishes to improve its accessibility, relevance and value for the intended audience – the general public and open data community

•eliminate the complexity of becoming and staying compliant with policy

•reduce the risk of inadvertent breach of the Data Protection Legislation

•cut costs by removing the need to add to the workload of a public body’s current staff or increase headcount.

spotlightonspend is powered by Spikes Cavell. Spikes Cavell equips decision makers in the public sector with the business intelligence, online tools and analytical insight they need in order to transform the way they procure goods and services. Since 2003, our spend analysis and spend management solutions have underpinned the efforts of more than 800 organisation’s to deliver cash savings, measure progress and manage compliance.

For further information, please contact:
Vanessa Land
Devonshire Marketing
Tel: +44 (0) 7768 693 779

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Devonshire Marketing in the following categories: Computing & Telecoms, for more information visit