The Vale Council Chamber - showing the balcony where members of the public can listen to meetings

Despite a huge investment in live TV internet broadcast facilities –  made in 2013 –  the Vale of Glamorgan  Council  has yet to broadcast any meeting of the Full Council or any  committee meeting other than Planning. Penarth residents have to physically travel to Barry and sit in the public gallery (top left) to see what’s being done in their name.

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 .

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

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

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.

The Vale of Glamorgan Council 'cabinet' (seen here in the Paget Rooms Penarth last year) consists of only six councillors . The rest of the people present are council officers

The camera-shy Vale of Glamorgan Council ‘Cabinet’ (seen here in a yearly meeting in the Paget Rooms Penarth) now consists of only five councillors . The rest of those at the table are council officers

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.”



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  1. Kevin Mahoney says:

    I’ve been requesting transmission of full council and other meetings for a number of years now without any success or much of a positive response from most other councillors or officers

    My requests for digital sound recordings at the very least at all council meetings to save a fully accurate record of what goes on rather than the incomplete and occasionally misleading minutes published of what has been said and by whom has also met with no enthusiasm.

    Also rejected have been my calls for recorded votes on all matters requiring just one councillor to ask for rather than the current 6.

    It seems to me that many councillors are quite happy for there to be no record of their voting record nor a fully accurate complete record of what takes place in all council meetings for public examination.

    Which tells you a lot about our elected representatives.

  2. Lindsay says:

    Are meetings of the so called Westminster “cabinet” televised?

    • Kevin Mahoney says:

      Vale of Glamorgan cabinet meetings are open to the public, so there can be no sound reason for not webcasting or recording for later inclusion on the council website.

  3. Christopher David says:

    £786 for a chair!! They should be taken to court for misuse of public funds. Gosh knows how much the “cabinet” must have cost then. Not MFI eh.

  4. Andrew Worsley says:

    Its called abuse of power and treating the people who pay the earnings and everything else they USE . They should be accountable to the people , its called ‘democracy’ if they are unwilling to be held accountable or to be transparent on their activities they need removing and someone who has more respect for the people than these nobodies put in place , power corrupts and here you have a classic example. Either they are open to scrutiny or not? , if not they need removing or made to stand down. But I think I can see where the problem comes in ?,yes £786 for a chair ??!!, of course they WOULDNT HAVE DARED to expose this little detail to the people who pay for all this grandiose stuff, the are servants of the people for Gods sake , where on Earth do they got off spending money like water, ?whilst other services are crying out for cash, ? ITS CALLED CORRUPTION AND SPENDING MONEY THEY DONT HAVE courtesy of the tax payers,

  5. Big Davey says:

    Can we have our money back please?

  6. Colin Davies says:

    Nothing like an over-reaction… miss-use of power? Do me a favour it’s a tin pot local council, what “power” do they actually have. If you really have such strong objections to this rather that moan about it on a local website why not take them to task over it? Report them to the LG Ombudsman, WLGA, Electoral Commission, Welsh Government…. oh right yes I forgot, you’re all far to busy for that…

Comments are closed.