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Long: Castlereagh Council still reluctant to embrace transparency

September 18, 2014 10:16 AM

CASTLEREAGH: CASTLEREAGH CENTRAL: Cllr Michael LongAlliance Councillor Michael Long has slammed Castlereagh Council for its on-going reluctance to be open and transparent, despite being in its final year of existence.

Mr Long was speaking after figures again proved Alliance Councillors are the best value for money of the main parties on the Council- a fact that is difficult for ratepayers to find due to the latest round of expenses being very difficult to locate on the Council's website.

Figures show Alliance Councillors claim on average £10,136.85, with the UUP's average set at £11,796.68, the SDLP's at £11,621.72, with DUP Councillors again registering the highest claims with an average of £12,471.80.

Councillor Michael Long said: "I am delighted Alliance has again proved it provides the best value for money for local people compared to the other main parties on the Council.

"Alliance believes it is important that we provide value for money for ratepayers and these figures show that the average Alliance Councillor cost more than £2,000 less than their DUP counterparts and well over £1,000 less than the SDLP and UUP.

"Several years ago I faced considerable opposition in my fight to ensure that these figures were released and published on the Council's website, clearly demonstrating how public money is spent. While I welcomed this important step taken by Castlereagh Council I am extremely disappointed that this information is very difficult to locate on the Council's website - an issue I will be raising at the next available opportunity.

"Castlereagh Council seems determined that its lasting legacy in local government will be one of politics behind closed doors. This is not something Alliance has been part of and with the new Super Councils providing opportunities for openness in politics, we as a party will continue to ensure total transparency in all Council decisions."

ENDS

Link to 2013/14 Castlereagh Councillors' expenses

http://www.castlereagh.gov.uk/Documents/finance/Councillors_Expenses_2013_14.pdf

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