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The requirement for spending transparency only applies to English local authorities. But this interesting exchange in Parliament yesterday, already noted by Jonathan, shows that two Welsh councils have chosen to open the books as well:

Alun Cairns: Will the Secretary of State join me in congratulating and recognising the Vale of Glamorgan council, which is one of two authorities in Wales that have chosen to publish all invoices in excess of £500? The other authority is another Conservative-led council, Newport city council. What influence can my right hon. Friend bring to bear on the Welsh Local Government Minister to force Labour-run and independent-run authorities across Wales to follow their lead and do the same?

Mr Pickles: I am sure my hon. Friend has done more than enough to demonstrate to the people of Wales the desirability of transparency. It is gratifying that every local authority, with the exception of Labour-controlled Nottingham, now trusts the local population with that vital information.

Monmouthshire is a Conservative council and it would be good to see them doing the same. Also the Conservative-led councils in Scotland – South Ayrshire, Scottish Borders and Dumfries and Galloway. The Welsh Local Government Minister is a Labour politician called Carl Sargeant. In Scotland it is a Scottish Nationalist called John Swinney. What they have in common is their opposition to transparency. A position which I hope the Welsh and Scottish Conservatives will be challenging in the elections this year.

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