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Council transparency

Last updated 6 January 2016

These pages provide you with the opportunity to view a wide range of information including all payments we make to external providers that is over £250, and details of chief officer pay. It also shows you how to get in contact with us if you have questions or simply want to know more.

Council structure, pay scales and senior officer pay

Waltham Forest Pay Policy Statements

Read the Council's:

Council spending

We publish a monthly list of all Council purchases showing who we paid, how much we paid, and what for.

From April 2010 to August 2012, and in line with government guidance, we published details of all expenditure over £500.

From September 2012 we publish details of expenditure over £250.

The details below are for January 2014 to date. For expenditure between January 2010-December 2013 please see our archive page.

The data in the files

The data in the files for April-November 2010 lists expenditure over £500 and contains:

  • Doc. No: Document reference number
  • Payment date
  • Vendor name: The name of the supplier
  • GL Description: Details of what the expenditure is
  • Invoice total: The amount paid including VAT

The data in the file for December 2010 and onwards lists expenditure over £500 and contains:

  • Body and Body Name: Identifiers for Waltham Forest Council. These two columns never change
  • Payment Date
  • Doc No: Document reference number
  • Invoice No.: Invoice number
  • Total: The amount paid including VAT
  • Supplier Name
  • Supplier ID
  • Expense Area: Which part of the Council raised this expenditure
  • Expense Type

The data in the file for September onwards lists expenditure over £250. The data format remains as it was from December 2010.

The information published

The Council uses a system called SAP to manage its finances. A monthly report of expenditure is generated and published on this page within 14 days of the end of the month.

The information published includes:

  • All individual items we purchase
    Payments made to contractors carrying out work on our behalf
    Other spend incurred in carrying out our business
  • And excludes personal data protected by the Data Protection Act 1998 from which any person can be identified:
  • On its own (eg. payments to named individuals), or
    In combination with information already held about that person (eg. disclosure of a home address may identify a person)

The file is available as a:

  • PDF file for printing out
    CSV file that can be imported into a spreadsheet program like Google Documents and Microsoft Excel

You can read:

  • PDF files by downloading Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • CSV files by downloading the Excel file viewer. Or by signing up for a Google Documents account

Council budget movements (virements)

Local authorities are required to show changes to council budgets. The reports give details of the movements between services and an explanation for the change.

Initial information is provided for the last 2 financial years. Future updates will be published quarterly.

Council budget movements for the:

Parking account

Councils are required to publish a breakdown of income and expenditure on the authority’s parking account including details of revenue collected from on-street parking, off-street parking and Penalty Charge Notices.

It is also a requirement to show a breakdown of how the authority has spent a surplus on its parking account.

Corporate credit cards

Local authorities are required to publish all transactions on corporate credit cards. The reports give details such as the department that incurred the expenditure, the beneficiary and amount.

Council contracts and tenders

We are looking to adopt an e-tendering system that will enable us to publish tenders and contracts. The following information is available now:

Engagement and consultation

By engaging with residents and stakeholders in an open and transparent way, we aim to ensure that the opinions and concerns of local residents are gathered in a timely manner to help inform decision making and improve local services.


The Council welcomes petitions and recognises that signing a petition is one way in which people can let us know their concerns.

There are two ways to organise a petition:

  • Collect signatures on a paper petition that you then give to the Council
  • Post an e-petition on the Council's website for other residents to see and decide if they wish to add their support

See our Petitions page for more details

External audits and assessments of the Council

Information about our external assessments and audits is available.

Food safety inspections

Details of the food hygiene inspections carried out by Waltham Forest Council's environmental health officers are published online on the Scores on the Doors website.

See our food safety web page for more details of food scores, Scores on the Doors and the Waltham Forest's Safety and Food Section.

Freedom of Information and complaining about Council services

Freedom of Information

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 provides a right of access to information. A request for information must be made in writing to the relevant department or section.

Council complaints

The Council has a complaints procedure for people to use if they are unhappy with the service they have from the Council or ones of its providers

Governance and decision making

How the Council makes major decisions

The Council has a Leader and Cabinet executive structure, in which the overall budget and policy framework is determined by Full Council (all 60 councillors) with the Leader and Cabinet responsible for most day-to-day decisions. Major decisions for the coming months can be found in the Forward Plan.

The Council has overview and scrutiny committees and panels that act as a check and balance on the Cabinet and review and help to develop Council policies to ensure that they have a positive impact on Waltham Forest

You can also find out about

Planning applications

Members allowances, expenses and expressions of interest

To promote transparency in the use of public funds and decision-making, the Council agreed in October 2010 to publish details of Councillors' allowances and the Register of Interest Forms (setting out their financial and other interests in the borough) on the Council's website.

The Council's policy is to publish as much information as it can subject to any legal restrictions.

Information will be updated on an annual basis and, in the case of Register of Interests forms when they are updated.

The published information includes:

In addition, details of Councillors' declarations of interests in meetings can be found:

Details of Councillors' declarations of their receipt of gifts and hospitality are also reported in the Ethical Monitoring Report.

The Council also has an Ethical Framework and Standards.

Council property list

Local authorities are required to list details of the property it owns. The reports give details of the property, where it is, and what it is used for. The report also includes our internal property reference number.

The data will be next updated in October 2015, and will be updated at least once a year.

The details on the property list change regularly. For more information about of the sites on the list please email the Property Team.

Social housing asset value

This information is published to provide the public with value of social housing stock that is held in our Housing Revenue Account.

There is a difference between the tenanted sale value of dwellings within the Housing Revenue Account and their market sale value.

Please be assured that the publication of this information is not intended to suggest that tenancies should end to realise the market value of properties.

Download the social housing asset value list (23KB Excel file).

Further Information

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