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Saturday, December 21, 2019

Town council to investigate recording its meetings

Llangollen Town Council is looking into the possibility of its meetings being recorded.

At the moment its rules do not allow proceedings of the full council or its committees being either photographed, recorded, broadcast or transmitted without written consent. 

But at this week’s full council there was a move to change this.

A report submitted by Cllr Robyn Lovelock said: “It is becoming increasingly common for town councils to produce an audio or video recording of meetings as a means of increasing transparency and community engagement.

“A quick search reveals plenty of examples of town councils sharing videos or live webcasts of their meetings on their websites.

“The meetings are already open to the public. The primary benefit of recording meetings would be to assist those residents who are keen to follow proceedings but who are unable to attend meetings in person due to disability or caring responsibilities, or to clashes with other commitments.

“Technologically meetings could be recorded with video equipment available within the town or livestreamed via Facebook Live.”

Cllr Lovelock explained that the three recordings of the Llangollen 2020 videos recently shared online received between 300 and 2,000 viewings,”showing a high level of interest in the idea within Llangollen.”

The report recommended that the council conducts some research into options for recording meetings with a view to revising its standing orders to allow video recording of meetings and for the publishing of video recordings of meetings online via its own website.”

In a short debate a number of councillors expressed their support for the move.

Cllr Sheena Grindley said: “Any way to get local people interested in what is going on is well worth looking into.”

Cllr Andy Beech said he had “serious misgivings” about the idea as recordings could be changed into different formats and “changed beyond all recognition”.

Deputy mayor, Cllr Issy Richards, said: “I agree. I have concerns about recordings would be used once they are out there.”

But Cllr Austin Cheminais argued: “I’m in favour of looking into. Live coverage of councils is increasingly being discussed.”

The council eventually voted in favour of further investigations into the idea being carried out.

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