Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Councils told to publish more parking and bins data

  • 1 Comment

Communities secretary Eric Pickles is to force councils to publish more information on parking charges and the frequency of waste collections.

Mr Pickles has repeatedly urged councils to reduce charges for car parking and to revert to weekly collections of household waste.

Under changes to the Transparency Code due to take effect in November, councils will be obliged to publish details of waste and other contracts, as well as details of their land and building assets. They will also have to publish more details of what the Department for Communities & Local Government referred to as “subsidies given to trade unions including so-called ‘facility time’”.

Local government minister Kris Hopkins said in a statement: “Greater power for local government must go hand in hand with greater local transparency and local accountability. Therefore it is only right we give council taxpayers the data they deserve to play a bigger role in local democracy.

“This new wave of town hall transparency will empower armchair auditors right across the land to expose municipal waste and ensure councils are making the sensible savings necessary to freeze council tax and protect frontline services.

“For instance, opening up parking profits to the eyes of local democracy will protect residents from the risk of being treated as cash cows by trigger-happy town hall traffic wardens and expose councils using parking policies in an unlawful way.”

Mr Pickles first came up with the concept of armchair auditors holding councils to account in 2010.

But doubts soon surfaced as to whether any significant proportion of the public had the time, skills or interest to comb through council records.

Last month the Public Accounts Committee said the DCLG lacked information on how grants were spent.

Committee chair Margaret Hodge (Lab) said there was “no convincing evidence that ‘armchair auditor’ members of the public are being empowered to hold local authorities to account”.


  • 1 Comment

Readers' comments (1)

  • Does anyone really think this government and Piffles in particular are serious about devolving powers to councils when he obviously relishes his Whitehall Stalin role. What did we do to him to make him hate local government so much.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.