The pen is mightier than the sword

Derek Tickles made this Freedom of Information request to Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities

This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

The request was successful.

Dear Chums

Startling - That is the word that sprung to mind when I read about the incredible profligacy at Leicester Council as described is beautiful prose on the Conservative Home website (

The local Conservative opposition leader (Cllr Ross Grant) has exposed that the Labour run council has spent a massive £7000 pounds on pens. Yes that is correct pens! They even have 30 different types of pens – I didn’t even know there were that many different ones but I suppose they may count different colour ones but the report didn’t mention that - I guess it isn’t important really.

Anyway the key thing is that Leicester Council have spent loads of our money on pens, this is more than 40 pence per member of staff a year! Good lord what are they doing with them all?

My request to DCLG is can you please supply me with details of your expenditure on pens in the latest financial year? Can you also please supply details of the type and model of pens purchased?

By the way, I really can’t see why staff cannot bring their own pens to work, when I was school I did and woe betide anyone who forgot.

Look after the pens and pounds will look after themselves,

Derek Tickles

Mitch Smith, Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities

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Please see attached response to your FOI request.

<<110111 f0004330 reply .doc>>

Mitch Smith
Procurement Adviser

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Hey Mitch!!

Thanks for the response dude. You did well my friend. I feel like me and you could really get on. We could be pen pals if you like?

So last year £7854 was spent on pens. I really like the annex but didn’t see any Hannah Montana glitter pens on the list - an oversight perhaps?

You mention that next year the expenditure on pens will reduce by approximately £5000. Wow that is impressive. I assume this is because staff will no longer need to write down as much?

I know Uncle Eric is not keen on evidence and unnecessary research, so the requirement to record facts may diminish. In future, we will simply await pronouncements from the great man. His sagacity and intelligence will be taken as divine fact. He will become a Buddha like character. We will venerate him. I close my eyes – I hear the Ride of the Valkyries, I smell napalm and I have a vision of Marlon Brando as Colonel Kurtz.

The horror, the horror…

Any way Mitch , you deserve the keys to the stationery cupboard for your hard work.

Keep it up son,


Adrian Short left an annotation ()

While the Information Commissioner's guidance says that public bodies are entitled to refuse to answer requests from people calling themselves by obvious pseudonyms, it's commendable that CLG have nonetheless been transparent about the substantive matter.

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