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Audit Commission: Expenditure

Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 20th July 2011.

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Photo of Chris Kelly Chris Kelly Conservative, Dudley South

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Cannock Chase of 1 February 2011, Official Report, column 740W, on the Audit Commission: expenditure, if he will place in the Library a copy of each bespoke photography image purchased for the launch and reporting of Comprehensive Area Assessment; what the name is of the photographers or associated company used; and what the cost to the public purse was of the Comprehensive Area Assessment photography work.

Photo of Bob Neill Bob Neill The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

This is an operational matter for the Audit Commission and I have asked the chief executive of the Audit Commission to write to my hon. Friend direct.

Letter from Eugene Sullivan, dated 20 July 2011

Your Parliamentary Question has been passed to me to reply.

The launch event for Comprehensive Area Assessment took place at St Martin in the Field on 7 December 2009 (under embargo for a 9 December launch). Thirty two photographic images were purchased by the Commission from the official photographer, Frank Noon at a total cost of £250. These photographs have been supplied to the House of Commons Library, as requested.

The main image used for the Oneplace website was purchased from photo library Getty Images at a cost of £439.99.

Big Stick photography took portraits at a cost of £1670 of all of the Commission's Comprehensive Area Assessment Leads who were responsible for coordinating and producing the local assessments. We also used Big Stick to take pictures to support our communication activity to explain CAA with public bodies. Other invoices were for a week's worth of work in Sunderland, at a cost of £2275.04, and on-site shoots in Stockport and London costing £1160.

Other costs related to CAA are £785 for images supplied by brand and image agency Fishburn Hedges (who developed the Oneplace brand); and £448 with Photofusion on three stock shots for the Oneplace National Overview Report. These can viewed on the Oneplace website:

http://oneplace.audit-commission.gov.uk/infobyarea/region/area/Pages/areaoverview.aspx?region=54&area=319

The images associated with each area page on the Oneplace site were supplied by a council in that area. These were free of charge. Other images in the website were around 100 stock images at varying cost. Some were free of charge, some will have been at a minimal cost of £2 each. To calculate the exact cost would take disproportionate time and cost.

In my response to the hon. Member for Cannock Chase of 1 February 2011, Official Report, column 740W, I said that the increase in expenditure in 2009/10 was due to the extra photography work associated with the launch and reporting of CAA. As well as the specific purchases listed above the Commission updated images in its general photo library during 2009/10 at an estimated cost of £7,200. These were used for a variety of purposes, including some associated with CAA. Disaggregating the costs and photographs between the different projects would be disproportionate in terms of both time and costs.

Therefore the cost to the public purse for the CAA photography work is estimated to be £7228.03, plus a proportion of the cost incurred for the updated images for the Commission's general photo library.

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