House of Commons Library

Local government transparency in England

Published Tuesday, November 10, 2015

This note provides details of the Code of Recommended Practice on local authority data transparency; the Code of Recommended Practice on Local Authority Publicity; filming and social media use in council meetings; and pay policy statements.

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This note provides details of the following initiatives:

- A code of recommended practice on local authority data transparency, setting out minimum expectations of the data to be published by local authorities. The code has been made legally binding for local authorities as of 31 October 2014;

- A legal requirement upon local authorities to publish ‘pay policy statements’, setting out the remuneration of chief officers, and the ratio between the highest-paid and lowest-paid employees;

- A revised code of recommended practice on local authority publicity, published in March 2011. The Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 permits the Secretary of State to direct authorities to comply with the code. This power was exercised in early 2015 with regard to the London boroughs of Newham, Waltham Forest, Greenwich and Hackney;

- Powers for the Secretary of State to make regulations requiring local authorities to permit members of the public to film and use social media in council meetings.

The matters covered in this note apply to England only, with the exception of pay policy statements, which also apply in Wales.

Commons Briefing papers SN06046

Author: Mark Sandford

Topics: Freedom of information, Local government, Pay

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