Thousands of communities across England will now be able to access more information about local politics thanks to a nearly £5m injection of cash designed to ‘digitally enable’ councils.
The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) secured the £4.7m of funding from Whitehall in 2015 to help town and parish councils become digitally enabled and allow them to comply with new transparency rules.
Councils with a turnover of less than £25,000 are required by the Transparency Code for Smaller Authorities to publish online a number of finance documents, including items expenditure of above £100 and end of year accounts.
NALC were commissioned by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) to manage a Transparency Fund providing grants and other support to help councils ‘go digital’.
An estimated 5,000 local councils have benefitted from the support.
Chairman of NALC, Cllr Sue Baxter, said: ‘It was fantastic to work so closely with our county associations and MHCLG to deliver such a successful programme to help our smaller community councils.
‘The Transparency Fund has really enabled our smaller councils to comply with the new rules and become more digitally able.’
Local government minister, Rishi Sunak, said: ‘I’m passionate about digital services and the vital role they play in delivering more efficient and effective services, so I’m pleased to see NALC using this Government funding to help members of the public access information more easily.’