A LIBERAL Democrat councillor has hit out at Cotswold District Council for failing to publish financial expenditure within the timeframe required by law.

Cllr Joe Harris, Liberal Democrats, St Michael's Ward, has accused the council of 'culture secrecy' as the council have failed to update their expenditure since February.

Cllr Harris also pointed out that the yearly accounts that haven’t been published since last year while UBICO, the Council owned company set up to deliver environmental services, hasn’t seen its accounts published on the council's website since 2015 and the Council’s Medium Term Financial Plan is six years out of date.

This is not the first time that this has happened at the authority according to the Cotswold Lib Dem leader. In 2012 the then Lib Dem leader Paul Hodgkinson wrote to the then Secretary of State outlining concerns after CDC had failed to publish this data.

Under plans to improve transparency at Town Halls the, government required local Councils to publish details of expenditure of more than £500 within 30 days of the month end.

Cllr Harris said: “As somebody that got involved in local politics to try improve transparency I’m angry that this important financial information is missing from the Council’s website.

"The Coalition government did good work in trying to open up Councils to public scrutiny and once again the Conservatives locally haven’t bought into this as evidenced here.

“With failures such as this it further adds to the perception that amongst the leadership at the District Council there is a culture of secrecy. It is also further evidence that outsourcing Council employees to a private company doesn’t appear to be working terribly well if basic information such as this isn’t kept up-to-date.

”A Liberal Democrat run council would put transparency at the heart of decision making and ensure that such basic but important information is pro-actively put into the public domain.”

A CDC spokesperson said: “The finance team has been coping with an unusually heavy workload to comply with revised government accounting deadlines, and there has been a delay in posting details of financial expenditure on our website. We will remedy this matter as soon as practicable.