Labour slam claims of se­crecy

Hamilton Advertiser - - NEWS -

The Labour group at South La­nark­shire Coun­cil has hit out at sug­ges­tions they were not “trans­par­ent” when in con­trol of the coun­cil.

The new rul­ing SNP group have been keen to pro­mote a more open lo­cal au­thor­ity, and an­nounced coun­cil pa­pers would be re­leased with seven days no­tice rather then the cur­rent three.

But Labour say the re­cent au­dit of the coun­cil proves they were not se­cre­tive when in power.

Au­dit Scot­land re­ported that in 2016/17 the coun­cil was “open and trans­par­ent in the way in con­ducts its busi­ness, with pub­lic able to at­tend meet­ings of the coun­cil and its com­mit­tee.”

Labour group leader Davie Mclach­lan said: “Con­tin­u­ously we hear from the new SNP ad­min­is­tra­tion and their leader Coun­cil­lor John Ross that they will be a more open and trans­par­ent coun­cil sug­gest­ing we were not.

“This re­port sug­gests that Au­dit Scot­land are happy with the pre­vi­ous Labour ad­min­is­tra­tion and the way busi­ness was con­ducted. I would sug­gest that Mr Ross gets on with deal­ing with the more se­ri­ous mat­ters at hand and stops mak­ing empty com­ments and prom­ises.”

How­ever, Coun­cil­lor Ross de­fended his pre­vi­ous com­ments, say­ing: “Au­dit Scot­land also com­mented that the pre­vi­ous Labour ad­min­is­tra­tion had pro­vided no read­ily avail­able in­for­ma­tion to the pub­lic on how to ar­range at­ten­dance at meet­ings.

“Au­dit Scot­land then went on to sug­gest that in an ef­fort to give greater open­ness and trans­parency they could have adopted the broad­cast­ing of meet­ings live or by mak­ing record­ings avail­able on the coun­cil web­site and in an ef­fort to pro­mote en­gage­ment and the pro­mo­tion of pub­lic at­ten­dance, they could have con­sid­ered the use of tech­nol­ogy to reach a wider au­di­ence.

“In­stead of pat­ting them­selves on the back, the Labour Party should re­flect on why they went from a ma­jor­ity ad­min­is­tra­tion into a dis­tant sec­ond place.”

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