This Wednesday a debate will come before Parliament which affords an usual opportunity to further the cause of transparency in all public spending. If you can spare a couple of minutes, please follow these instructions on contacting your MP to urge them to support the motion.
Essentially, back in 2007 Parliament passed the Sustainable Communities Act which despite is slightly jargonistic name is in fact an excellent piece of legislation. It provides an actual framework for taking public budgets away from central government and quangos and allowing them to be seized by local councils and other groups.
Unfortunately, the Government has failed to obey the Act at almost the first hurdle. They are mandated by it to produce local spending reports, which lay out detailed breakdowns of all public spending by local authority area. And when it say "all", it means "all" - whether the money is spent by Regional Development Agencies, the Ministry of Defence or the Department of Business, it would all be laid out for each area.
Despite that clear and beneficial rule, Whitehall has dragged its feet and kept taxpayers in the dark. To try to put a stop to that, MPs are taking advantage of a rarely used Commons rule to force a debate and a vote on the issue on Wednesday.
The Motion is Number 1064, and urges the Government to fulfil its commitments and show us where the money goes. The motion is also cross-partisan, with the sponsorship of David Drew MP (Labour), Nick Hurd MP (Conservative) and Julia Goldsworthy MP (Liberal Democrat).
You can find your MP's contact details here: http://findyourmp.parliament.uk Please email or phone them and urge them to vote for Early Day Motion 1064 on Local Spending Reports at the substantive debate in Parliament this Wednesday.