Saturday 15 January 2011

Transparency Please?

Out of curiosity and in my quest for openness in local government, I decided to ask Carmarthenshire County Council whether they were going to publish details of spending over £500 in line with UK national guidance for transparency. Of course not! and they've no intention of doing so unless their hand is forced by the Welsh Assembly. (Ok, I know local government issues are devolved) but I wonder if any other Welsh councils will be the first to take the initiative and publish this information without any prompting from above? 
We'll wait and see.
On the subject of transparency I was impressed by the efforts of a blogger from Lichfield who is in talks with his local authority to arrange the filming of certain council meetings for his local blog. He appears to have a well-informed and co-operative council - I wonder if Carmarthenshire Council would be so accommodating?!! Many councils have various committee/council meetings 'live-streamed' on their websites, including some in Wales,
I think it's something we should be demanding from County Hall - ditch the endless, expensive propaganda (including 'Carmarthen TV' which has gone strangely quiet and of course the cheesy 'Community News') and invest the money in some reality democracy and transparency instead!

I also hear that some people, using council computers, are having trouble accessing this blog - even in public libraries. I would appreciate it if anyone who is experiencing such difficulties could kindly contact me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There seems to be some worrying similarities between Carmarthenshire County Council and Westminster City Council if attempts to prevent the public from viewing websites that do not sing the praises of the Council:

'Suppressing unfavourable political information'