Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Progress on greater transparency in Reading

Reading Borough Council announced today that all Council spending over £500 is now accessible via the Council's website. Visit the Council's new transparency page to view details.

I have been a Councillor for over four years and it's the first time I can remember this level of detailed information being available to the public (and indeed councillors!). It definitely never happened under the previous Labour administration.

I think this is a positive step and it should make everyone more aware of what public money is being spent on by the Council. I hope it will lead to better decisions and more informed residents.

At a local level the new administration is committed to making the activities of the Council more open and accessible to the public, and to be as clear as possible about what we are spending public money on and why.

The Coalition Agreement signed by Liberal Democrat and Conservative councillors in Reading says:
"We will promote greater transparency in local government in Reading, to improve community confidence in the council"
At the moment the data is in very much raw form but I understand from the Department of Communities and Local Government that more guidance will be forthcoming to councils about how they should present information which I hope will make this information more useful to residents.

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