Pounds 50m Cuts Meetings Will Be Held in Public; Politics Council Will Throw Open Cuts Negotiations to the Public

Daily Post (Liverpool, England), May 23, 2011 | Go to article overview

Pounds 50m Cuts Meetings Will Be Held in Public; Politics Council Will Throw Open Cuts Negotiations to the Public


Byline: David Bartlett

SECRET negotiations over the next round of Liverpool council cuts are to be thrown open to the public.

Liverpool council leader Joe Anderson said meetings to discuss how the authority makes at least pounds 50m of cuts will be open to the public for the first time ever.

He also hopes to webcast the meetings so residents can watch the difficult discussions from the comfort of their own homes.

It is widely accepted that the council will have to make even more painful decisions than those that led to pounds 91m being cut from this year's budget.

Cllr Anderson hailed the move as a major step in the council becoming more transparent.

He said: "We have nothing to hide from the public and that includes the council's finances."

The budget negotiations are held in private due to the sensitive nature of some of the options councils consider.

Opening them to the public will offer an insight to the thinking that goes into making the decisions.

Labour councillors will told of the idea tonight , and the rest of the council will be formally told tomorrow . Cllr Anderson has already discussed the idea with council chief executive Ged Fitzgerald, who is comfortable with the plan. "What we are going to do, for the first time ever, is have the meetings in public," he said. "People will be able to see the debate and the discussions we have. …

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