Press Release; and a typical Clarke hypocrisy:-
Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Norwich South, Cllr. Antony Little, has asked Gordon Brown to stop dragging his feet over a new law which requires the Government to tell us how much taxpayers’ money is spent in Norwich and in every other part of the country. In Parliament on 28 October, Labour MPs actually voted against a motion calling for more openness on public spending across Norwich.
The new law, called the Sustainable Communities Act 2007, was introduced by a Conservative MP and passed by Parliament with wide cross-community support from local and national organisations. It could help fix Britain’s broken politics – by giving local people the power to decide how their cash is spent in their area, and requiring a regular breakdown of spending by central government departments and quangos in new ‘Local Spending Reports’.
More and more taxpayers’ money is being spent by unelected quangos. A new report published on 26 October by the Taxpayers’ Alliance has revealed that quangos now spend an astonishing £90 billion a year – equivalent to £3,640 a year for every household across Norwich.
But Labour Ministers have been trying to water down the new law. They initially only wanted to publish spending by councils and NHS Primary Care Trusts – facts already in the public domain. Further information will only be “developed over time”.
Norwich South Labour MP Charles Clarke was one of those who voted against this important transparency issue.
Conservatives are calling for greater openness and accountability, and are pledging to:
• Use the Sustainable Communities Act to publish detailed Local Spending Reports including central government and quangos, and devolve more power to local communities.
• Require Norwich City Council to publish online figures for all expenditure on goods and services over £500, as is already being piloted by Windsor and Maidenhead Council.
Councillor Antony Little said: “It’s time for the Government to show us the money – and tell Norwich residents how much of their money is actually spent in our area. Gordon Brown wants to stop local people finding out that they get a raw deal from his Government, and conceal that his unelected quangocrats spend almost £4,000 a year per household in Norwich wth little or no say for local people.
“Local communities deserve a far greater say on how their money is spent. It’s time for change, and only Conservatives will open up the books and give power back to local people.”