Agenda item

Webcasting of Member Meetings

For the committee to receive an update on progress with this and for the committee to approve a proposed protocol webcasting


That the proposed protocol on Webcasting as shown in Appendix 1 be approved.



The Democracy and Governance Manager introduced a report to update on progress with webcasting of meetings and for the Committee to approve a proposed protocol on webcasting.  He provided background information and advised that the views of the Constitution Committee on the proposed protocol would be reported to the next meeting of Cabinet and Council before decisions were taken on it. 


The Democracy and Governance Manager advised that the experience of other local authorities of webcasting meetings had led to a number of useful tips being documented and these were appended to the report and would be sent to Members, Officers, and third party speakers prior to their attendance at a webcast meetings.


Councillor Chris Bithell raised concerns around public consent to being filmed and .issues which may arise in relation to public speaking.  The Democracy and Governance Manager responded to the concerns raised and referred to the importance of notifying the public in advance that a meeting was to be webcast.  He referred to the special protocol which was used for public speaking  in meetings of the Planning and Development Control Committee  which drew attention to what members of the public could and could not say.  In response to a further query raised by Councillor Bithell concerning how long was the delay in transmission the Democracy & Governance Manager agreed to make enquiries and provide information on this matter.


   Councillor Clive Carver raised concerns relating to data retention and referred to the footage of webcasting of meetings being held on the Council’s website for 6 months and then destroyed.  The Democracy and Governance Manager explained that the footage would ordinarily be destroyed but if an issue arose within the 6 months that required longer retention an exception could be made.  Councillor Carver queried a possible discrepancy arising between what was recorded on the footage of the meeting and recorded in the minutes of the meeting. The Democracy and Governance Manager advised that the minutes once approved were the final and official record of the meeting.  He explained that if Members viewed the webcast of the meeting and felt there was an inaccuracy in the minutes they should raise any issues with Officers in advance of consideration of the draft minutes at the subsequent meeting.  


Councillor Bernie Attridge expressed his great concern at  the negative tone of the debate which was taking place. It was his opinion that: web casting was a useful tool for public engagement and one which was widely used by other local authorities in both Wales and England. On that basis, he urged his colleagues not to dismiss the initiative on cost grounds: in terms of the reputation and standing of the Authority, it was vital that Flintshire now offered a facility which other authorities already offered.  The protocol as submitted offered safe-guards to all involved and the approach to web-casting in Flintshire would   be a professional one.  Training on participating in webcast meetings could be provided to Members if necessary.  On that basis, it was his opinion that the proposed protocol  should be approved.




That the proposed protocol on Webcasting as shown in Appendix 1 be approved.


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