PLUG IS PULLED ON TONIGHT’S LIVE TV COVERAGE OF VALE PLANNING MEETING

The Vale Council's announcement on its website gives no reason for tonight's webcast cancellation

The Vale Council’s announcement on its website this morning gave no reason for tonight’s webcast cancellation. Later it was changed to say the cancellation was because of “technical issues”

The Vale of Glamorgan Council has announced on its website that there will be no live-streamed tv webcast of the coverage of tonight’s meeting of the council’s Planning Committee.

The council also says that no video recording of the meeting is to be available on the council’s website , so it can’t even be viewed at a later date. Later the website message was amended to ascribe the cancellation of coverage to “technical issues”.

The Vale of Glamorgan Planning Committee in session under chairman Cllr Fred Johnson who is Mayor of the Vale of Glamrogan

The Vale of Glamorgan Planning Committee in session under chairman Cllr Fred Johnson (centre) who is Mayor of the Vale of Glamorgan. Tonight the cameras will be switched off.

IN 2013 funding of £40,000  was allocated by the Minister for Local Government and Communities to every large local authority to webcast its proceedings. The idea was all part of a UK Government initiative to make council proceedings more accessible and to improve local democracy.

To claim the cash windfall, each council had to commit to carrying out a webcast “pilot”  by the end of that  financial year and then later progressively roll-out the trial to cover an increasing number of each council’s many other meetings .

Remote control German-made high-definition cameras are installed in the ceiling of the Vale Council Chamber

Remote control German-made high-definition cameras are discreetly installed in the ceiling of the Vale Council Chamber

The Vale of Glamorgan Council said it would begin a pilot by webcasting coverage of its monthly planning meetings – thus enabling the council to claim the £40,000. German-made  Siemens remotely operated tv cameras were discreetly installed.

Meanwhile over £248,000 was also spent on re-furbishing the council chamber and providing comfy new chairs for the councillors, 60 of which cost £786 each.

However –  when it came to actually televising any council proceedings beyond the planning committee –  the councillors suddenly proved to be almost painfully camera-shy .

Over the last three years nothing other than the monthly planning meetings has ever been webcast.  Meetings of the full Vale Council were never televised and neither were any of the other committee meetings or ‘cabinet’ meetings – even though many are  held in the same fully-equipped council chamber .

The re-furbished Vale of Glamorgan Council Chamber . The bill for the new chairs alone came to £52,000

The re-furbished Vale of Glamorgan Council Chamber . The bill for the new chairs alone came to £52,000 in 2013. The total revamp cost council taxpayers £248,130.

The television coverage of the Vale Planning Committee itself  turned out to be sporadic. Sometimes complete meetings were missed. On other occasions the pictures were almost too out-of-focus to enable any councillors to be recognised .

Recordings of  one planning meeting in September last year, which discussed a contentious scheme to  transport furnace ash from the Viridor waste facility in Cardiff to Barry Docks via Dinas Powys, were  censored so that the council-tax-paying public – who pay the councillors’ salaries – would not be able to view sequences in which concerned local people brought what was purported to be a sample of  furnace “ash” into the chamber.

Some non-Labour councillors say it’s high time the live tv streaming service and archive video recordings were provided for every council meeting and council committee meeting and that it’s a travesty that so many meetings are held with no video made of what is actually said.

 

About NewsNet

Penarth Daily News email address dmj@newsnet.uk . Penarth Daily News is an independent free on-line fair and balanced news service published by NewsNet Ltd covering the town of Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, UK. All our news items are based on the information we receive or discover at the time of publication and are published on the basis that they are accurate to the best of our knowledge and belief at that time.
This entry was posted in Penarth Daily News. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to PLUG IS PULLED ON TONIGHT’S LIVE TV COVERAGE OF VALE PLANNING MEETING

  1. Chris Franks says:

    Apparently the equipment has been knocked out of order following a power cut/surge last week. At least one camera is out of action. That’s the story I’ve been given.

  2. Christopher David says:

    Oh sure- its the labour dictators that need knocking out! Even the gutless Listless Lindsay whom ever he / she is cant defend this one. “Meanwhile over £248,000 was also spent on re-furbishing the council chamber and providing comfy new chairs for the councillors, 60 of which cost £786 each” Come on public- whatever your politics are you going to continue to have this bunch take you for a ride? Ermine covered are they- the chairs? well they’re lording it over us!

  3. David Moorcraft says:

    And the Vale Councillors still can’t understand or accept that they are held in wearied contempt by many (Penarth) Voters/ Ratepayers/ Residents.
    I think these amounts of money spent/wasted, and the lack of transparency should be brought home more forcefully to Vale citizens
    Cardiff Council is FAR from perfect, but it’s got to be better than this £760-per-comfy-chaired regime.

    Old Lifetime Labour Voter – in despair.

  4. Frank Evans says:

    Post it note gate rumbles on. Cctv switched surely this can’t be?

  5. Rachelle says:

    So postpone the meeting until equiptment is available. Im sure the meeting and equiptment will be up and running quickly then 😊
    I personally feel they should put the plans on paper for a vote from the public. A list of areas and projects to address and have an option to even say ‘none of the above, something else’. I feel in recent years money has been thrown away in things that are unnecessary. For example, those ridiculously expensive bollards on Thompson street. The council need to address the Barry town retail situation. Holton Road has become a ghost town. They need a project to approach the large fashon stores to return to Holton Road. A lot of money has been spent on the library area but no-one is going to come to Barry if there are no shops to go to.

  6. Cheryl says:

    I agree Rachelle. Let’s get some high street retailers in. They’re probably the only ones who can afford the high rents etc but are greatly needed to revitalise our town.

  7. Christopher David says:

    Is Barry high rent?

  8. steve says:

    Probably Don’t Want us to see The Bulging Brown Envelopes Being Passed Around.

  9. William says:

    Although the equipment has been installed as mandated by the Welsh Assembly Government, I am sure that there is an large number of ongoing costs of maintenance, staffing and technicians to operate the equipment at every meeting. A lot of these meetings take place at evenings, out of working hours.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s