The Taxpayers’ Union endorses the recommendations made within the Chief Ombudsman’s report on council workshops. This investigation underscores serious issues, notably the confusion arising from varied terminology and the trend of workshops seemingly shrouded in secrecy.
Oliver Bryan, Investigations Coordinator at the Taxpayers’ Union, said, “The findings of this reports are a watershed moment. Councils have, for far too long, operated what can appear as ‘shadowy’ meetings, circumventing the very tenets of transparency. The public has a right to know how their hard-earned money is used and how pivotal decisions are shaped.”
“The ‘open by default’ directive is paramount. Workshops should be accessible to the public barring compelling reason to the contrary.”
“Many councils don’t maintain records of workshops as they argue that no decisions are made, but often a direction of travel is set that can be difficult to unwind by the time the public is allowed in the room.”