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Lib Dems want councillors' payments on the web

July 8, 2009 10:15 AM
Cllr Ian Nimmo-Smith

Councillor Ian Nimmo-Smith

Cambridge Liberal Democrats have pledged to publish councillors' allowances and interests on the city council website.

They have made the decision in recognition of the public outcry over MPs' expenses.

Councillors will be urged to support the move at their meeting on Thursday, July 16.

Details, which will also be available in paper form for the public to inspect, will include:

• Councillors' allowances, expenses and dependency payments.

• Payments made by Cambridge City Council in support of councillors' attendance at outside events.

• A register of councillors' interests.

• Details of gifts and hospitality received by councillors.

A motion, put forward by city councillor leader, Ian Nimmo-Smith and Councillors Neil McGovern and Amanda Taylor says: "The council notes the heightened public concern about reimbursements and remuneration to politicians following the recent exposures of fraudulent and erroneous claims by some Members of Parliament."

Councillors will also be told at their meeting that there has been a 250 per cent increase in requests from the public under the Freedom of Information Act in the last year.

And they will be urged to support a move to work with the council's Freedom of Information Officer to ensure that consideration is given to publishing replies to future requests on the website.

Cllr Nimmo-Smith said: "Councillors are paid out of the public purse and, as such, it is vital that Cambridge people can be clear as to how their money is being spent.

"We want to make sure there is an open, clear and transparent record of expenditure which can be inspected by members of the public on the website and as hard copy."