It was the Conservative-controlled Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead which blazed the trail on transparency in local government when it voted last year to publish all expenditure over £500.
Now, with the Government leading the way on opening up data about spending and salaries, Tory-controlled Northamptonshire County Council is the latest authority to herald the new era of transparency in advance of the Government enforcing such measures next year.
Today, the council has published on its website details of the salaries and expenses of its senior management team and the salaries of all heads of service and started publishing the details of all items of expenditure over £500.
Council Leader Jim Harker explains:
“For some time now we have been strong supporters of the transparency agenda and have been working hard to make sure that what we do, what our managers are paid, and what value they add to our communities is better understood by the people we serve.
“With an organisation as vast and complex as this, offering the huge array of services that we do, it is certainly a challenge to go that step further and start printing details of all expenditure over £500. However following our discussions with interested parties some months ago this is what we started working towards and it is tremendous that we are now in a position to start rolling this out.
“I am delighted that the government shares the ambition and drive to increase transparency and I am pleased that here in Northamptonshire we are already able to put into place a lot of the aspirations outlined in their agenda.”
The Taxpayers' Aliance were among those who participated in the round table discussions organised by the council earlier this year, and good on the council for listening to them in their quest for openess as a way of saving taxpayers' money in the long run.