BLAENAU Gwent County Borough Council has made close to £1,500 in the past four years by selling advertising space on its website.

The decision was made in August 2014 and was brought in as a method of raising additional funds, when resources are reduced and an increase in service demand.

"Blaenau Gwent started to carry advertising on its website in August 2014," said a council spokesman.

"The decision was made to provide an additional income stream for the council as central government funding reduces.

"We operate a revenue share model. Income is based on the number of page impressions and click through rate and we have received about £1,500 in income since the service started."

The spokesman added that the council operates and adheres to strict guidelines of adverts which it can or cannot accepted, and must received approval from the local authority.

"There is set criteria for the acceptance of advertising and certain categories of advertising are excluded," he said.

"All advertising is approved by the council before it runs on our website.

"We do not accept the following categories of advertising: gambling, cosmetic procedures, drugs and supplements, political advertising, religious advertising, ringtones and downloads or weight loss."

A Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) spokesman said: “In response to the growing financial pressures, local authorities have been working to identify income generation opportunities which could boost their revenue and minimise the burden on council taxpayers.

"Advertising revenue is one work stream amongst a range of others which some councils have decided to explore and develop further.

"Councils will decide locally, in line with their own particular individual circumstances and priorities, on the most appropriate ways to generate income in their areas.

“All adverts must adhere to the codes of conduct laid down by the Advertising Standards Authority and must abide by each council's own provisions in this regard.

"The promotion of any advertisement on local authorities’ websites should not be seen as an official endorsement or recommendation of that advertiser's products or services.”