Eric Pickles, the Communities secretary, has today given Suffolk County Council — and five other Suffolk councils– a week to start publishing details of their spending.
They were told last June to publish online all spending over £500 by the end of January this year.
Today (January 25) he said in a press release:
I’ve called for every council to become more open and accountable about every aspect of their work, starting with getting all expenditure over £500 online by the end of this month. Transparency can help save money in tough times protecting frontline services, by cutting waste and unnecessary costs.
The final countdown for councils has begun. In the last six months more than half of all councils have got their house in order. Today I’m putting those councils still to open up on one week’s notice.
The public have a right to know how their tax pounds are spent, and those yet to deliver are running out of excuses and time before they have to face their electorate – I hope every council chooses to do so openly, transparently and democratically.
The list he also published shows that only two Suffolk councils — Babergh and Forest Heath — have complied. Leaving Mid Suffolk, (see next paragraph) Suffolk Coastal, St Edmundsbury, Suffolk Coastal, Ipswich and Waveney as well as the county council to get their skates on. Nationally more than 210 councils have published lists while about 150 have not.
Jan 26: Mid Suffolk District Council has now told me (see comment below) they have published the spending details. Follow the link in the previous paragraph to find them. Jan 27: Ipswich Spy tells me Ipswich Borough Council has also published details. Link has been added above. the list published by the Communities department seems not to be entirely up to date.
It would be good to know why thee-quarters of Suffolk councils are so tardy.