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CABINET OPENNESS U-TURN

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Cabinet-style executives will have to take many decisions in public under government amendments to the Local Govern...
Cabinet-style executives will have to take many decisions in public under government amendments to the Local Government Bill.

In a major policy U-turn, the government has bowed to the concerns of councillors, newspaper editors and MPs, opening up many executive meetings to the press and public.

The amendment means the government can specify when cabinets must meet in public. In guidance to be released next week, ministers will specify that cabinets have to take decisions announced on their four-month forward plans in the open.

The DETR said: 'We've listened to concerns. We recognise that people have legitimate concerns about some cabinet experiments, but those experiments are being carried out under existing legislation.'

It appears the amendment will mean most decisions that affect the community, rather than internal council matters, will be made in public.

Decisions delegated to individuals will still be taken privately and discussions about sensitive or classified information will remain behind closed doors.

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