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Film question returns to council's slate

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: November 23, 2012

By Graeme Wilkinson

Comments (1)

AFTER 17 months of deliberations, Carmarthenshire Council will look again at filming its meetings.

But the move has not gone far enough for the woman who has campaigned for live screenings of all council meetings.

The council's executive board was asked to run a pilot project with a video and audio recordings

The authority said it was getting a full break down of costs for the pilot before making a final decision.

The issue came to a head after Jacqui Thompson, from Llanwrda near Llandeilo, was arrested for refusing to leave the chamber of County Hall in June last year.

She was told to leave because she was filming the meeting on her mobile phone from the public gallery. She was later released without charge.

Ms Thompson said this week: "Well, they've spent ages looking at it — it's been 18 months.

"This is better than nothing but it appears they will be recording and then editing the footage before it is made available to the public.

"That defeats the object. This is something that has to be live really."

Decision

Council spokeswoman Debbie Williams said the executive board asked for another report as soon as possible of the full costs of the pilot before making a decision.

She said the problem of how to provide bilingual translation on a live broadcast was also raised.

Ms Thompson, a community councillor, said broadcasting council meetings would get more people interested in local government.

She added that it would make the decision making process more transparent.

"I don't understand why it hasn't happened yet," she added.

"I've heard lots of argument about what was actually said in a meeting and what was in the minutes."

A report by the council said it would cost around £5,000 per year for a basic audio recording of council meetings and over £20,000 for a fully supported web-streaming service.

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  • oldblue51  |  April 04 2013, 2:46PM

    It doesn't need to be live, just available, shot as live and unedited. Posting on you-tube would do. The cost wouldn't need to be anything like £20,000, that's just a figure to use as an excuse not to do it. Planning meetings last about 2 hours? Monthly? When most people see what goes on at these meetings, the sheer level of ignorance we may get this antiquated totally unfair system changed.

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  • newsaffair  |  November 23 2012, 2:59PM

    "Democracy" ??? Why should our elected feel the need to hide their decisions,from their constituents? We can view the Assembly,but not the council meetings, WHY?????, I only hope they can be proscecuted for not permitting the public the full access we deserve.!!

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