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Budget secrecy proves "culture of concealment"

Labour's Finance spokesperson on South Gloucestershire Council says that the Conservative administration's refusal to share budget information with its new Scrutiny Commission proves that there is a "culture of concealment" at the council.

Councillor Adam Monk had tabled questions for today's Scrutiny Commission requesting information on the impact of the national financial settlement and on specific budget proposals being considered and rejected by each of the council's directorates.

The answer supplied gave an update on the impact of the national financial settlement but in terms of local proposals it stated that:

"Directors are currently working confidentially with the [Tory] administration in respect of next year and future years budget options"

Councillor Adam Monk says:

"When the Tories abolished most of the council's committees last May they promised that the new Scrutiny Commission would play a key role in providing checks and balances.

It is now crystal clear that they have no intention of sharing key information with the cross-Party Commission in the formulation of the Council Budget. Instead, councillors will be presented with the budget on a 'take it or leave it' basis.

We are regularly exposing examples of the culture of concealment at South Gloucestershire Council under the Tories' new system, and we now have proof of this in writing."

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