With the recent economic fiasco, public services are being targeted, which will likely end in a reduction of services and increase in charges. Anyone who has been filling out some of the online surveys for Fife Council will have noticed that all the questions have been related to increasing or introducing charges, whilst reducing services and access to services. For instance in 2009 weekly Bin Collections were reduced to fortnightly collections to save money, the Cowdenbeath public toilets and Business Centre was closed, all to save money. Yet public money to the tune of £34,349.22 was spent by Fife Council on Bottled Water in the last financial year.

This information was obtained by Friends of the Earth Fife who used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain the information. All of the information obtained was posted publicly by the website www.whatdotheyknow.com and the full correspondence can be read at: http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/bottled_water_and_plastic_carrie#comment-2856. I have included the final reply from Fife Council below:

Dear Sirs

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION (SCOTLAND) ACT 2002 – REQUEST FOR INFORMATION

I refer to your email dated and received 22nd March 2009.

I am pleased to enclose the information you requested and hope that it
meets your requirements.

(1) How much Fife Council spent on the purchase of bottled water in
the last financial year:-

£34,349.22

(2) How much Fife Council spent on the purchase of plastic carrier
bags in the last financial year:-

£1,060

If you are not satisfied with the way we have handled your request, you
have the right to request a review of the decision. Please write to:
Chief Legal Officer, Fife House, North Street, Glenrothes, KY7 5LT;
within 3 calendar months of receipt of our decision. If this fails to
resolve the matter to your complete satisfaction, you have the right to
apply to the Scottish Information Commissioner for a decision.

Yours faithfully

John Cosgrove
Procurement and Supplies Manager.

Viki Duffy,
Administration Officer,
Finance & Procurement,
Procurement & Supplies,
Q11 Flemington Road,
Glenrothes,
Fife. KY7 5QW

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