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Lib Dems Attack Council Secrecy

June 5, 2008 3:49 PM

Bedford Borough Liberal Democrats have called for greater openness on the council after part of Monday's Implementation Executive meeting was held in secret.

Commenting, Liberal Democrat Deputy Group Leader and Implementation Executive member Cllr David Sawyer said, "The preference of the new Implementation Executive for excluding the public and the press from its meetings is very disturbing.'

The issue debated behind closed doors was the recruitment of senior staff. It was discussed in secret after other groups rejected a Liberal Democrat proposal for matters not involving personal details to be dealt with publicly.

Cllr Sawyer continued, "The Council properly has a duty of confidentiality in relation to matters affecting individual members of staff. However, the principles underpinning the Council's decisions on these matters must be kept under public scrutiny.'

"If we continue to exclude the public, they will still learn what is going on, but only by a combination of leaks and innuendo. This can only be seriously damaging to the Council's reputation for accountability and transparency."