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Council members' register of interests to appear online

Published 23/03/2016

Move: Paula Bradshaw
Move: Paula Bradshaw

A register of interests for every member of Belfast City Council is to be published online, bringing it into line with Stormont and Westminster.

Currently, the public can request to view the interests of any of the 60 councillors elected in Belfast.

However, they must go to Belfast City Hall to do so.

Alliance councillor Paula Bradshaw made the proposal for greater transparency at the March meeting of the full council.

It was referred to the strategic policy and resources committee for discussion. Yesterday morning the committee agreed to pass it after a brief discussion.

The DUP's Christopher Stalford listed his interests verbally at the meeting, while the PUP's Billy Hutchinson said he had no problem with the move to put interests online.

Both the Assembly and Westminster display a register of members' interests on their websites.

Belfast City Council's website currently includes profile pages for each of its councillors. They include a copy of their CV, what committees and outside bodies they have been appointed to, and any declarations of interest they have made.

However, many of the links to CVs do not work and many of the declarations do not appear to be up-to-date. The full register includes details of outside employment, other incomes and property ownership.

The committee's decision will have to be endorsed by the full meeting of the council at the start of next month before it becomes official.

Row over Alliance leaflet, Page 19

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