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Transparency in Local Government

Volume 524: debated on Monday 28 February 2011

I want transparency to underpin everything that councils do. All council business should be open to public scrutiny—whether it is expenditure, senior pay, council expenses or voluntary sector funding. I am consulting on a code of recommended practice to enshrine the principles of data transparency and to set out the minimum data that should be published.

Will the Secretary of State join me in congratulating and recognising the Vale of Glamorgan council, which is one of two authorities in Wales that have chosen to publish all invoices in excess of £500? The other authority is another Conservative-led council, Newport city council. What influence can my right hon. Friend bring to bear on the Welsh Local Government Minister to force Labour-run and independent-run authorities across Wales to follow their lead and do the same?

I am sure my hon. Friend has done more than enough to demonstrate to the people of Wales the desirability of transparency. It is gratifying that every local authority, with the exception of Labour-controlled Nottingham, now trusts the local population with that vital information.