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Expanded council transparency code to go live in November

Local authorities will need to set out, and be more open, with regards to their spending of parking profits and how they tackle fraud under the updated Local Government Transparency Code

The new measures, ushered in by local government minister Kris Hopkins, also mean that councils must publish details of their existing waste collection contracts. 

The open data push, which will make it a legal requirement for local authorities to help taxpayers scrutinise their work, will come into force in early November. 

This ties in with when councils will also be obliged to publish details of contracts and all land and building assets, as well as subsidies given to trade unions. 

Hopkins said: “Greater power for local government must go hand in hand with greater local transparency and local accountability. Therefore it is only right we give council taxpayers the data they deserve to play a bigger role in local democracy. 

“This new wave of town hall transparency will empower armchair auditors right across the land to expose municipal waste and ensure councils are making the sensible savings necessary to freeze council tax and protect frontline services.” 

Cllr Ken Browse, chairman of the National Association of Local Councils, told PSE: “Proposed audit arrangements for parish councils spending under £25,000 will require compliance with a new transparency code, placing a new burden on around 6,500 councils. 

“We are pressing DCLG to introduce these new rules from 2016 and to provide financial support to help them meet new requirements to publish information online.”

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