PLAID Cymru is calling on Carmarthenshire County Council “to make a NewYear’s Resolution to be open and accountable to the public in 2013”.

Cllr Peter Hughes-Griffiths, leader of the 28-strong Plaid Cymru opposition group on the Labour/Independent-controlled council, said: “It is an alarming fact that a culture of secrecy and non-accountability is perceived to exist within the administration of Carmarthenshire county council.

“It is also amatter of dismay that any criticism of the authority often results in a disproportionately hostile reaction via the council’s publicity department.

“There is a strong public perception that the council is arrogant and autocratic with too many decisions being made in private.

“This perception has been reinforced by the council’s refusal to allow people to film or record open meetings, to release critical Ombudsman reports to councillors or to advertise in local papers that criticise the council.

“Plaid Cymru firmly believes that the public should have a right to film council meetings and that elected members have a right to see critical reports by the Ombudsman before they are reported on television.

“Plaid also believes that any attack on the freedom of the press is deplorable and dangerous in a democratic society.

“Plaid Cymru is of the view that the council’s behaviour is bringing the authority into disrepute.

“We believe it should urgently investigate means of engaging the public in its democratic processes.”