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144 councils have opened up their books

With a month to go to the deadline for publishing procurement spending over £500 so far 144 councils have complied. But that still leaves the majority who have not.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles says:

 "In 2011 I would like to see every council make their New Year's resolution to cut more waste and fully open their books up to public scrutiny.

"Openness is an essential part of a proper modern democracy.

"One hundred and forty four councils have shown they're not afraid to be transparent and I applaud them, but that's less than half – the slow-coach councils only have a month to go before serious questions will be asked about what they've got to hide.

"Openness is an essential part of a proper modern democracy. The taxpayer has a right to see where their money is being spent, to point out waste and decide local priorities."

In London 12 of the 32 boroughs have yet to publish their spending. Those reportedly yet to publish include one Conservative council - Havering. The other 11 are Labour: Greenwich, Hackney, Lambeth, Lewisham, Tower Hamlets, Barking and Dagenham, Ealing, Haringey, Harrow, Hounslow and Newham.


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