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Council to put minutes on web

Castlereagh Council is set to publish minutes from all council meetings on its website from this week.

It has been revealed the decision was taken at a recent meeting of the Central Services Committee and approved at February’s full council meeting.

The move will now bring the local authority into line with its two neighbouring councils, Lisburn and Belfast City, which already provide all minutes online.

The decision has been welcomed by Councillor Michael Long — who has previously campaigned for all minutes to be available online — who said he believed the move would lead to greater “openness and transparency for ratepayers”.

Speaking to The CT he added: “I think that it is important that ratepayers are able to know what decisions are taken by the council.

“Many other local councils, including Belfast and Lisburn, have been doing this for some time and it is frustrating that it has taken so long for this decision to have been made.

“Recently members of the press have had difficulty in accessing minutes, so it is good that both they and ratepayers will be able to access them by a press of a button, rather than by hours of searching.”

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Castlereagh Council will back date minutes on its website for the current electoral term, making them available from 2005.

A spokesperson for the council added: “The council took a decision at last month’s council meeting to publish minutes on its website.

“Work is under way to make this happen and we are hopeful that the first minutes will be online by the end of this week.”

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