Nottingham residents want to know how their money is spent

Many thanks to all the TPA supporters and activists who met on Saturday to campaign for greater transparency from Nottingham City Council. We collected signatures for our petition calling on the council to publish details of spending above £500 online.

The afternoon was  covered by the BBC for East Midlands Today. In an interview , I explained why we were there and why local people agreed with us that they had a right to know how their money was spent. Residents were also frustrated at how difficult it is to get information from the council under the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act.

The deputy leader of the council, Graham Chapman, responded on TV by saying publishing spending online would cost more in bureaucracy at a time when spending was being cut. He simply doesn't understand that by being open and transparent, bureaucratic costs would be cut. It doesn't take much time to publish items from a spreadsheet. If the council replied to FoI requests on time, it wouldn't have to deal with more requests from the public chasing up their queries.

It was clear that members of the public are on our side. They want to scrutinise how the city council spends their money in the same way that residents in other areas can.

Last Saturday was the first day of this local campaign. We will continue to collect signatures for the petition and will continue to press the council to be more transparent. If you would like to help in future action days, please let me know.

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