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News - 21 July 2007
Brian Oxley, leader of the Council

Council to put its accounts up for public scrutiny

Brighton & Hove council’s new administration is taking an open book approach to governance and will make its finances available to anyone who wants to see them.

The finance management sub-committee set up by new council leader Brian Oxley has its first meeting on Thursday July 19 at Hove Town Hall. Any residents can attend such meetings and ask questions.

On the agenda is a presentation about how council finances work and a report on how council investments are performing.

A third paper outlines how the council has driven its costs down by over £20m in the last three years.

Meetings will start with a session for public questions, which must be submitted in writing at least a week in advance. An ad-hoc supplementary question can then be posed. Council finance bosses will be on hand alongside elected members.

Councillor Oxley said, “I wanted these meetings so that there was more transparency to council finances, that we get things out into the open so they can be discussed and understood. The ultimate goal will be to ensure that taxpayers’ money is used in the most efficient way and we provide the best possible value for money.”

Committee chairman Councillor Ann Norman added, “Council finances are very complicated and not widely understood. For example not many people realise council tax provides just a third of the money we spend.

“This committee will give residents and councillors the chance to learn more about it and make informed choices about how we use public money.”

The deadline for questions to this meeting has passed. However anyone wishing to ask a question to the next meeting on November 23 must submit it in writing by November 16 to democraticservices@brighton-hove.gov.uk or Democratic Services, Kings House, Hove BN3 2LS.


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