Council’s incompetence wastes £115,000 on expensive photocopying paper.


(UPDATE : Since writing this article, the Council have changed the FOI response to reflect a much lower, competitive £/ream price and so the £115k waste statement is no longer valid. It is a concern that FOI’s are issued which are significantly inaccurate – this is not the only example of this – there should be a level of cross-checking)

The Council keep telling us that precious service cuts are down to central Government austerity measures and that all internal costs have been “cut back to the bone” and scrutinised with a “fine tooth comb”. But what about basic office supplies?

Under Freedom of Information the Council was asked:

“What was the latest price paid per ream (500 sheets) of standard white copier paper (80 gsm or equivalent)?”

The answer given was:

“Derby City Council pays £9.32 per ream for A4 70 gsm white copier paper and £4.892 per ream for white A3 70 gsm.”

A simple google search will show many options for lower prices for A4.

Amazon £16.74 for 5 reams = £3.35 per ream ( white A4 70 gsm) – it can be purchased as low as £2 per ream.


Interestingly the A3 price that the Council is paying is very competitive.

So, the Council could save ~£7/ream for A4 paper.

The Council also confirmed:

“Derby City Council purchased 16,455 reams of white A4 70 gsm during 2015/16 financial year and 1,340 reams of white A3 70 gsm.”

Which means that the Council spends ~ £160k on paper each year.

If the A4 paper was purchased at competitive prices then they could save ~ £115k  (16455 reams @ £7/ream) each year!

Additionally 16455 reams is just over 8 million pieces of paper per year . This is around 30,000 sheets per working day. There must be scope for reducing this significantly?


Many important public events, organisations, and places have been shut in order to save much less money than £115k. This is just one small example – how many more instances are there where the Council is purchasing products and services, regularly, at an inordinate cost to the tax payer.

To put it into context – the Council Tax of ~100 Derby city residents is used, just to buy photocopying paper.


A thank you to those who commented on my Facebook post yesterday and who raised the issue of the cost/ream that prompted me to go into more detail.


Categories: Finances

Tagged as: ,

1 reply »

  1. Hi Richard

    When the new council refurbishment was complete we were told that the council was going paperless!

    Desktop printers were withdrawn.

    It begs the question ‘What is being printed?’

    Keep up your good work

    Les Allen Sent from my iPhone


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