PUBLIC NOT TO SEE LIVE TV TRIAL-COVERAGE OF VALE COUNCIL

The newly renovated Council Chamber in Barry is the venue for full council meetings and many important council committee

The newly renovated Council Chamber in Barry is the venue for full council meetings and many important council committees such as the planning committee (shown here)

Members of the  public are not to be allowed to see live trial TV-coverage  of the full Vale of Glamorgan Council.

The five strong ruling ‘cabinet’ of the Vale of Glamorgan Council  is to consider tomorrow a recommendation allow tv coverage of monthly full council meetings to be recorded for the purpose of internal reviews – but that the pictures and sound of  this coverage should not  be broadcast on the internet.

At the moment only the meetings of the Vale Council’s planning committee are streamed live on the internet  – despite pressure for the council to broadcast all its proceedings. This is  despite the thousands of pounds of taxpayer’s money which has been spent on adapting the council chamber, in Barry, for television.

The Vale of Glamorgan council chamber in as it was in 2012 before being given a quarter of a million pound make-over for tv

The Vale of Glamorgan council chamber in as it was in 2012 before being given a quarter of a million pound make-over for tv. Full council meetings have yet to be broadcast

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 in 2013 and providing new chairs for the councillors, 60 of which cost £786 each. It’s now understood the council chamber is to be re-carpeted.

Only now has the Vale Council’s  “Democratic Services” department has produced a report recommending that television coverage should be extended beyond meetings of the planning committee to the monthly meetings of the full Vale Council .

The Vale of Glamorgan Council Chamber .

The Vale of Glamorgan Council Chamber as it is now .

However  the Democratic Services report points out that there are difficulties in arranging coverage of the full council – compared with that of the planning committee. It says:-

  • More councillors – 47 of them – attend the full council meetings compared with the 21 who are on the planning committee
  • Under the Vale Council’s Constitution all councillors are required to stand-up to speak in full council meetings – whereas in meetings of the planning committee they remain seated when they speak. That means that in full council meeting, cameras would need to be constantly adjusted so as not to focus on the midriffs of standing councillors during their perorations.

Another problem – not referred to in the report – is that councillors will have to remember to switch their individual microphones on and off when they speak . In the planning committee they often forget to do so  – resulting in councillors not being heard or not  being seen . (The switches also control he remote control cameras ).

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.”

 

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.

4 Responses to PUBLIC NOT TO SEE LIVE TV TRIAL-COVERAGE OF VALE COUNCIL

  1. R Recorde says:

    I really hope we vote this lot out. Broadcast meetings should be mandatory. But they don’t want you to see their £750 chairs let alone their “cabinet”. Laughable.

  2. The Tax payer says:

    The photo with the hands up reminds of something in past history !

  3. AK says:

    Surely a general view of all the members, and audio would be sufficient. We really don’t need to see them in close up when they speak.

    It’s not exactly like PMQ, is it, purely an indelible record of what is said and agreed.

  4. Colin Davies says:

    Without being really cynical, it’s very difficult to discuss matters and make decisions “off the record” when the meeting is being broadcast over the internet… just a thought…

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