Minister for Local Government and Communities, Carl Sargeant announced today that he is providing £1.25 million to county and county borough councils across Wales to improve local democracy and public engagement.
The funding will be used to take forward measures such as broadcasting county council meetings and improving the range of information available to the public about their town or community council.
Carl Sargeant said:
“I want to give as many people as possible access to the proceedings of local government, just as they already have for bodies such as the Assembly and Parliament.
“In a modern democracy, the development of the communications technology means that members of the public should be able to see how decisions affecting their everyday lives are taken.”
The Minister has also urged principal councils to work with their local community councils to provide the public with information about their local council. This will become a requirement within the Local Government (Democracy) (Wales) Bill that is currently being considered by the Assembly.
Another initiative being developed as a way of way of widening participation in local democracy is enabling councillors to attend council meetings remotely. The Minister says that he sees this as key way of promoting democracy and so is pleased that the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2011 includes a requirement for principal councils to do this.