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LEICESTER WEBSITE INITIATIVE WILL MEAN MORE OPEN GOVERNMENT

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From today, Leicester City Council will be making all of its public cabinet, scrutiny committee and council reports...
From today, Leicester City Council will be making all of its public cabinet, scrutiny committee and council reports and minutes available on its website.
The initiative was launched by e-minister Patricia Hewitt MP, who keyed in the instructions that will transfer the pages onto the council's website.
Leicester City Council is one of the first local authorities in the country to use this new software, developed in conjunction with new technology enterprise and the Royal Borough of Kingston.
The software was developed specifically to address the requirements of the Local Government Act 2000 - and, after the pioneering work carried out in Leicester, other councils are now showing an interest in using the software.
'I am delighted that Leicester is leading the way in using the internet to open up council meetings and council decision-making to the public,' said Patricia Hewitt.
'This is completely in line with what we're doing with the UK Online campaign.'
city council leader, Ross Willmott, said: 'Following the introduction of new political management structures at the council last autumn, this is the latest step in making the council's decision-making more open and transparent.
'As time goes on, people accessing the site will be able to build up a picture of the considerations taken into account by the council when making decisions, as well as being able to see full details of all of those decisions.
'This must be good for local democracy and for the accountability of the council to its local electorate.'
The council's aim is to publish all non-confidential reports going to its cabinet, scrutiny committee and council meetings at least three working days before the date of each meeting and to publish decisions made by cabinet within 48 hours of the cabinet meeting concerned.
In addition to streamlining the way agendas and minutes are produced for key council meetings, the new system also provides the opportunity to track issues historically, free text searching, automatic publication to the site and call-ins of decisions.
Leicester City Council's web site is at www.leicester.gov.uk.
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