Greater transparency in how local money is being spent is helping South Gloucestershire residents take part in a new online budget consultation forum, which gives them the chance to post their views on what priorities the council should focus on.
Whether it is investing in our schools, the district’s roads or services for older people, it is important that local residents are given an opportunity to comment on the spending challenges facing the council.
The council’s commitment to openness and transparency in how local money is spent has been recognised by recent Government praise for being the first local authority in the region to publish details about spending over £500.
Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, the Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP said: “I am delighted to see that South Gloucestershire Council is way ahead of the game in putting this information online.
“As a trailblazer of transparency it’s a great example for other councils to follow and demonstrates just how easy it is to show taxpayers where their hard-earned cash is being spent.”
Councillor Allan Higgs, executive member for corporate affairs, said: “I am delighted that our efforts to lead the way in becoming more transparent have been recognised by the Secretary of State.
“The council is not spending its money; it is spending residents’ money and, in the months and years ahead, we need our residents and local businesses to be able to scrutinise the way we are paying for services and suggest ways that we might provide a better service for less money.
“This will help us adapt to the public spending reductions that are needed to pay off the very high national debt.”
To view council invoices of £500 and over, please visit www.southglos.gov.uk/payments500.
The budget forum is available on the council’s website at www.southglos.gov.uk/budget.
And if you don’t have internet access at home, you can log on for free at your local library.
Source: South Gloucestershire Council