Greater transparency in Hull

October 31, 2012 3:36 PM

A move to greater transparency may be on the cards in Hull, according to a report in the Yorkshire Post. Ian Anderson, Town Clerk at Hull City Council, has stated in a briefing note that an officers' register of interests should be created and would apply to those officers “who clearly make decisions, influence policy, expend significant amounts of money, thereby putting staff accountability on the same basis as elected members”.

In addition to that, there is also a recommendation to publish salaries that are above the average weekly wage. What is unsure though is what average weekly wage he is referring to. The UK average is £473 per week. In Hull, the average is £222.50.

Anything that shines a light into the corridors of power is welcome. Residents should have the confidence that decisions taken on their behalf are taken in their best interests. Publishing a register of interests similar to that already in place for councillors will assist in making decisions more transparent.

To the best of my knowledge, there isn't another council in the UK that publishes salaries in this way, although this idea is not new. If you click on this link on the US State of Kentucky's website you are greeted with the following information:
According to data from the Kentucky Personnel Cabinet, nearly 43,000 people work for the state in either the executive, legislative or judicial branches of government. Almost 90 percent of the employees in the database work in the executive branch. Of the employees, 29,716, or 69%, are merit employees.

You can then go on to search the database for employee details, their job title and  salary.

As we have said many times before, if you have nothing to hide; don't hide it. The proposals in Hull are very welcome, and are in addition to the council publishing all spending - not just spending above £500.

These proposals are just that though - proposals. They need to be adopted, however judging by the comments from Cllr Mary Glew, a Labour member of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee, there is every likelihood they will become a reality. She said more transparency is a good thing, and that is the way they operate the council. So hopefully I will be reporting more good news soon.
A move to greater transparency may be on the cards in Hull, according to a report in the Yorkshire Post. Ian Anderson, Town Clerk at Hull City Council, has stated in a briefing note that an officers' register of interests should be created and would apply to those officers “who clearly make decisions, influence policy, expend significant amounts of money, thereby putting staff accountability on the same basis as elected members”.

In addition to that, there is also a recommendation to publish salaries that are above the average weekly wage. What is unsure though is what average weekly wage he is referring to. The UK average is £473 per week. In Hull, the average is £222.50.

Anything that shines a light into the corridors of power is welcome. Residents should have the confidence that decisions taken on their behalf are taken in their best interests. Publishing a register of interests similar to that already in place for councillors will assist in making decisions more transparent.

To the best of my knowledge, there isn't another council in the UK that publishes salaries in this way, although this idea is not new. If you click on this link on the US State of Kentucky's website you are greeted with the following information:
According to data from the Kentucky Personnel Cabinet, nearly 43,000 people work for the state in either the executive, legislative or judicial branches of government. Almost 90 percent of the employees in the database work in the executive branch. Of the employees, 29,716, or 69%, are merit employees.

You can then go on to search the database for employee details, their job title and  salary.

As we have said many times before, if you have nothing to hide; don't hide it. The proposals in Hull are very welcome, and are in addition to the council publishing all spending - not just spending above £500.

These proposals are just that though - proposals. They need to be adopted, however judging by the comments from Cllr Mary Glew, a Labour member of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee, there is every likelihood they will become a reality. She said more transparency is a good thing, and that is the way they operate the council. So hopefully I will be reporting more good news soon.

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