Issue - meetings
To determine whether to continue with the
provision of Webcasting meetings of County Council and Planning
That the Committee support the continuation of Webcasting provision, with a contract length of 5 years.
The Democratic Services Manager presented the report and provided background to the Committee on the funding for the webcasting provision, with Planning and Full Council meetings identified for webcasting.
The committee was directed to page 15 which outlined the viewing figures. Members were able to link their blogs to webcasts at County Council or Planning. The Officer then dealt with the funding arrangements.
Councillor Clive Carver referred to the viewing figures which were encouraging and to the statement on page 4 from the Wales Audit Office saying webcasting improved access to Council business. The indefinite archiving of webcast meetings was very useful but asked for clarification on the 60 hours of hosted content. He supported this as an “invest to save” for the future and suggest the council go for 5 years. In response the Democratic Services Manager reported that the 60 hours of hosted content referred to broadcasts within a year and did not refer to maintaining the archive.
Councillor Carver referred to the proposal for the Corporate Resources Overview & Scrutiny Committee budget meeting to be webcast and hoped this would go ahead. The Democratic Services Manager confirmed it would be the meeting held in the Council Chamber. Councillor Mike Peers suggested that other Overview & Scrutiny budget meetings should also be webcast, as he was sure there would be public interest for this. He was mindful that if the Welsh Government funding did not continue this could become a budget pressure and sought assurances on how this pressure would be funded and asked whether this decision should be made by County Council
Councillor Heesom stated not having a written record especially with Planning was difficult when applications go to appeal. He endorsed and supported it but added that a written record was indispensable. In response the Chief Officer stated that the quality of minute takers was excellent but a recording was better in many cases because it gave more information as not all of the meeting could be captured by the minute taker.
Councillor Glyn Banks asked if Welsh Government stated this was a mandatory service and if this was still the case would funding not be provided for this. It was confirmed Flintshire was collaborating with our five neighbours to get the same service from the same provider.
Councillor Banks also asked if the webcast could be highlighted better on the website to assist the public to find it and that felt it would be better to go for the 5 year contract. The Chief Officer confirmed the link was on the front page under Council and Democracy but that this could be looked at as part of the work within digital strategy.
That the Committee support the continuation of Webcasting provision, with a contract length of 5 years