Cuts in scrutiny across the country

April 20, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Posted in London, Midlands, North West, Yorkshire and the Humber | Comments Off on Cuts in scrutiny across the country
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David Cameron says that he wants to,

“Make our politics more local, more transparent and more accountable”

But Tory Councils are cutting the committees that examine council policy and make councils accountable to the taxpayer.

The Tories running Lancashire County Council have reduced the number of scrutiny officials employed by the council by 40%.  They will also scrap the ‘Lancashire Locals’ at the end of March.  This will scrap five local committees resulting in local residents having to take a round trip of up to 50 miles to attend meetings and find out what is happening.

In Bradford, spending on scrutiny was reduced by 25% between 2007/8 and 2008/9.

In Tory-run Croydon, the council have cut two of the committees which examine council spending whilst keeping staffing levels lower than under the previous Labour council and is holding posts vacant.

In Tory Southampton, the council is cutting two of the committees which examine council spending.

Tory-Lib Dem Birmingham Council  proposed to stop distributing council papers at meetings.   Committees would no longer give papers to members of the public or journalists making it impossible for anyone attending a meeting to follow what was happening.   The council was eventually forced into an embarassing u-turn.

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