All Councils should broadcast meetings online and have minutes and audio records available for ratepayers, says Graham

Alliance Torrent candidate Simon Graham has said May’s election is a chance for the electorate to quiz parties on their record on transparency in local government, with a number of Councils having seen issues around financial carve-ups and unwillingness to broadcast meetings to the public.

Local Government Transparency le23

Alliance’s recently launched LE23 manifesto contains a number of pledges relating to strengthening public trust by promoting further openness and accountability at Council. They include ending unaccountable allocations of public money, and the publication of all Council minutes and audio recordings. It also calls for Councillor expense claims, declarations of interest and attendance records to be made publicly available online.


“Alliance Councillors want to deliver better value for money for all ratepayers across Northern Ireland,” said Simon.


“Part of that is ensuring decision-making is as open and transparent as possible, particularly at local government level, where we have seen issues around carve-ups and questions raised as to the allocation of funds. Alliance has been vocal about the need to open up those processes so people can find out who is making decisions and where money is going.


“Alliance has also been at the forefront of ensuring greater openness and transparency in Councils across Northern Ireland, pushing for live webcasts, audio recordings and Council minutes to be made available online, and challenging financial carve-ups between other parties. Alliance Councillors will continue to do that in the new mandate.


“Faith in politics has never been lower. If we are to regain the public’s trust, they need to have the ability to know what decisions are being made and who is making them. While other parties talk about transparency, Alliance’s actions show we are actually committed to seeing it improved. I challenge others to follow our lead in removing secrecy in local politics.”