At the latest Belfast City Council meeting, Councillor Michael Long said there was no place for secrecy in local politics after some Councillors tried to backtrack over plans to make committee meetings more available to ratepayers – only two months after the move was initially agreed.
Opposed by the DUP, UUP and PUP – with the SDLP abstaining – the Alliance amendment passed by 27 votes to 22 on Tuesday night.
Councillor Michael Long said: “For a Party which always strives for greater openness and transparency, I’m delighted we have been able to deliver a more honest system to local ratepayers.
“The decision by some to backtrack over the initial approval given in June smacks of men in grey suits trying to hide behind closed doors, so I must ask – what do they have to hide?
“In June I thought we had finally resolved this issue, that those who tried to block greater access to committee meetings as part of their own agenda had realised there was no reason to hide behind closed doors – but sadly I was mistaken.
“It is unfortunate that not all Councillors could get behind the democratic process as we build a new, open City Council, but Alliance will not stand idly by and let those determined to block progress succeed.
“Alliance will never stop fighting for openness and transparency at all government levels and I’m delighted all committee meetings will be available for the public going forward.”