Long criticises other parties for backtracking on transparency

Alliance Councillor Michael Long has criticised other parties for backtracking over openness and transparency on Belfast City Council, after plans to audio record all Committee meetings were shelved.

Councillor Long said he was “disappointed, but not surprised” at the last-minute move to block Alliance proposals to make committee meetings more available to ratepayers. The decision comes after the plans were initially given the go-ahead at the June Council meeting.

“For a party which strives for greater openness and transparency, this decision is disappointing, frustrating and smacks of men in grey suits trying to hide behind closed doors,” said Councillor Long.

“In June, I thought we had got somewhere on this issue and other parties had realised there is no place for secrecy in local politics – but sadly I was mistaken.

“There is absolutely no reasoning behind this decision, but people across Belfast can rely on Alliance to stand up for truth and honesty. We will continue to oppose this decision, showing it up for what it is – a need for some parties to wield power and influence in the backrooms of City Hall.

“But let me be clear, that way of doing things is over. Alliance has led the way in fighting for openness and transparency, both at the Assembly and local government level. This latest obstacle will not deter us in our aim to ensure ratepayers across Belfast have access to all decisions affecting them.”

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