• EDDC recommends key meetings to be recorded

    15th November 2012 | News | Claire
  • Scrutiny councillors, who will consider formal recommendations in a report going before the committee next Thursday (22 November), will debate the merits of a new system, which would entail audio recordings being made of key council meetings, which would then be posted on EDDC’s website within seven days.

    Last month, Cllr Ian Thomas, communications portfolioholder, successfully attempted an audio recording of the overview and scrutiny committee meeting.

    The draft protocol proposes that council officers reserve the right not to be recorded, if they so wish.

    Members of the public would also be offered the option of not being recorded.

    The move follows previous and heated discussions on the merits of recording meetings at the scrutiny meeting, which came about following a motion calling on meetings to be recorded, by Cllr Roger Giles, that was debated at full council last year.

    There have been many rows about the accuracy, not only of minutes, but of what was said to whom at certain council meetings, especially where there have been complaints submitted about the conduct of councillors.

    See HERE for the latest row over the accuracy of minutes.

    The following meetings are proposed to be included in the recording schedule:

    – Full council
    – Cabinet
    – Development management committee
    – Overview and scrutiny committee
    – Housing review board
    – Audit and governance
    – Licensing and enforcement committee
    – Standards committee

    Only meetings held in the council chamber would be able to be recorded, as it has a loop system of microphones.

    The report states the cost of equipment would be £3.50, with the use of low cost or free audio recording software.

    The draft protocol to be considered by members, states that members of the press and public who wish to record meetings would be permitted to do so.  But they must do so overtly and stop if an officer or member of the public expresses a wish not to be recorded.

    Visual recording and taking photographs would remain forbidden.

    The scrutiny committee is only able to make recommendations to be considered by the cabinet.  So the minutes of next week’s meeting will go before the next cabinet meeting for a decision.

    The overview and scrutiny meeting starts at 6.30pm on Thursday 22 November and will be held in the council chamber, Knowle, Sidmouth.

    Members of the public are welcome to attend and speak for three minutes at the start of the meeting.

    The report and agenda papers can be viewed via this link:

    http://www.eastdevon.gov.uk/os_agenda_221112_combined.pdf