Local government – guidance

Open and accountable local government: plain English guide

A guide for the press and public on attending and reporting meetings of local government.



Transparency and openness should be the fundamental principle behind everything councils and other local government bodies do, and new rights have now been introduced by the Openness of Local Government Bodies 2014, which will enable members of the public to know how decisions are made.

These rights allow members of the public including citizens and professional journalists to:

  • use modern technology and communication methods such as filming, audio-recording, blogging and tweeting to report the proceedings of the meetings of their councils and other local government bodies
  • see information relating to significant decisions made outside meetings by officers acting under a general or specific delegated power.

This guide provides practical information that will help the public to exercise their new rights under the Regulations, and what they should expect from their councils and other local government bodies. It also replaces the guide Your council’s cabinet: going to its meetings, seeing how it works.