Council workers who earn more than £58,200 a year are to be named under government plans to increase transparency in town hall spending, according to a proposed Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) code of practice.
Local authorities are to be ordered to take the step by communities secretary Eric Pickles.
He is trying to increase public scrutiny of councils’ expenditure so that town hall bosses think more carefully about their spending priorities at a time when budgets are being slashed and services reduced.
The recommendation is one of a package of measrues in the long-awaited draft Code of Recommended Practice for Local Authorities on Data Transparency, see file at right, which is now out to consultation until 14 March.
Mr Pickles, left, was quoted as saying: “The taxpayer has a right to look under the bonnet of their council and see what decisions are being made on their behalf and where their money is being spent.
“I asked all councils to put online everything they spend over £500 and the majority have had the good sense to do so.
“Today I’m publishing a new code that will take councils to the next level, bringing middle management into the daylight and giving those not ready to open up a clear game plan to follow.
“Transparency must be the underlying principle behind everything councils do. Every aspect of council business should be open to public scrutiny including top money, middle management, councillor expenses, audit results, voluntary sector funding - it can help save money in tough times, protecting front-line services, by cutting waste and unnecessary costs.”
DCLG also said today that some eight English councils had still not complied with the requirement to publish spending data over £500.
They are: Nottingham City Council; Bradford MDC, Peterborough City Council, Epsom and Ewell BC, Hyndburn BC, Nuneaton and Bedworth BC, Eastbourne Council, and Lincolnshire CC.