Lambeth London Borough Council is to publish all the information it holds online so that residents and businesses can monitor its performance more closely – not just the data that the government has demanded that all councils in England and Wales must publish.
The local authority has said that it will not only publish all spending above £500, as demanded by central government, but will release such data as spending and performance metrics, including unit costs within council services.
The move is part of Lambeth's "co-operative council" plans, which are intended to help residents and local businesses scrutinise the council and its performance more closely.
"It covers anything that we're legally able to release. So that excludes private information about people's council tax records or payments or whatever, but anything legal and we'll publish the whole lot, which is beyond what any other council has done so far," Steve Reed, the leader of Lambeth Council, told The Guardian.
However, the release of data will exclude anything the council regards as confidential information, such as households' council tax records. Nor is the council in a position to release the data straightaway. But the council has been consulting with residents about what they want published and the format that it ought to be published in.
The long-term aim of the government order is to enable people to be able to compare costs between different councils and to apply pressure to high spenders to reduce their costs.