Annal Nayyar town hall transparency code in law

All councils with annual gross incomes of more than £6.5m must sign up to a legally binding transparency code, communities secretary Eric Pickles has today announced.

In a move which replace the previous voluntary code, councils will now be obliged under the statutory provisions to publish additional financial information – including spending on corporate credit cards.

Councils will also be forced to explain in greater detail on how money is raised from parking charges. A DCLG spokesman said this would include the number of off/on street parking spaces and would help residents ‘go compare’ local parking charges with neighbouring authorities.

Included under the new transparency obligations are greater data on the £220bn property assets held by councils and information on local authority contracts and tenders to help small firms bid for town hall business.

‘Councils need to make sensible savings to help freeze council tax and protect frontline services,’ said Mr Pickles.

‘This new wave of town hall transparency will empower armchair auditors to expose municipal waste – from surplus offices, corporate credit cards to trade union pilgrims, and help councillors drive down costs.

‘Greater power for local government must go hand in hand with greater local transparency and local accountability.’

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