By Lucy Phillips
7 February 2011
English councils will be forced to name all staff paid more
than £58,200 a year in the latest drive by Local Government Secretary Eric
Pickles to cut waste.
The proposal is included in a draft code on local government
data transparency in England, published today for consultation. The pay level
is equivalent to/based on the lowest salary for senior civil servants.
If local authorities do not comply with the voluntary code,
Pickles will be able to introduce legislation to enforce it.
The move follows Pickles’ order for all councils to publish
spending over £500 online before the end of January. Some 95% of councils have
complied with the measure – aimed at highlighting where waste could be cut
without hitting frontline services.
Today Pickles said: ‘The taxpayer has the right to look
under the bonnet of their town hall and see what decisions are being made on
their behalf and where their money is being spent.
‘I asked councils to put online everything they spend over
£500 and I commend the majority have had the good sense to lead this
transformation in transparency. Today I’m publishing a new code that will help
decipher the town hall maze of middle management, bringing more public
information to light. This will also give the few remaining refuseniks a clear
game plan to follow.’
Other items that will need to be published online according
to the consultation include: grants and payments to the voluntary sector;
councillor allowances and expenses; contracts to businesses and social
enterprises; finance policies, performance, audits and key indicators; and
democratic data such as election results.
The consultation ends on March 14.
Councils yet to publish their spending over £500 include
Nottingham, Bradford, Peterborough, Epsom & Ewell, Hyndburn, Nuneaton &
Bedworth, Eastbourne and Lincolnshire.