There is to be no live or recorded tv coverage of meetings of the Vale of Glamorgan ‘Cabinet’ – despite the thousands of pounds of taxpayer’s money which has been spent on adapting the council chamber, in Barry, for television.
Closed circuit tv cameras were commissioned in 2013 and first installed in the Vale Council’s council chamber in 2014 – paid for by £40,000 provided under a UK Government initiative to promote “greater transparency” in local government .
But the spending didn’t stop there. The Labour-run Vale Council spent over £248,000 on refurbishing the council chamber and providing new chairs for the councillors, 60 of which cost £786 each.
Since the installation was completed, only the monthly meetings of the Vale Council’s Planning Committee have been broadcast live on the internet.
None of the monthly proceedings of the full Vale Council or the fortnightly meetings of its so-called ‘Cabinet’ – and its many other key committees have been broadcast on the internet.
Now the Vale Council’s “Democratic Services” department has produced a report recommending that television coverage should be extended to the monthly meetings of the Full Vale Council – but that the meetings of the so-called ‘Cabinet’ (the five-senior councillors who actually run the council) – should not be filmed or shown on the internet.
The ostensible reason for not broadcasting ‘Cabinet’ meetings is because a council officer would have to be on duty at each meeting and that “ in the current climate, in which savings are constantly having to be effected, it is not considered that incurring additional staffing costs of such a scale could be justified.”