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TORIES DISMISS CHARTER

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The Conservatives will not follow Labour's lead and recommend their councillors put together charters for openness ...
The Conservatives will not follow Labour's lead and recommend their councillors put together charters for openness and accountability in the new executive structures set out in the Local Government Bill.

Labour's National Executive Committee recommended the charters last week in response to media accusations that mayors and cabinets will mean greater town hall secrecy.

But Local Government Association Tory group leader Lord Hanningfield said the Tories had no intention of introducing their own version of the guidance: 'We believe councils should be open and accountable anyway.'

He said the Conservatives would continue to push for more openness in Parliament.

Labour head of local government Howard Knight said the party had not included the charter idea in the Bill itself because: 'You can't have the government writing the charter and protocol for every council.'
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