Town council set to revisit recording of meetings debate

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Berwick Town Council is set to debate new proposals designed to reassure the public that it is open and transparent.

The council suffered a public backlash when it rejected a motion tabled early this year by Councillor Georgina Hill, asking that the authority permit filming, recording and the taking of photographs at its meetings.

Joe Lang, independant candidate

Joe Lang, independant candidate

Councillor Hill also wanted the authority to allow the use of social networking sites during meetings. It was defeated by eight votes to two.

Councillor Joe Lang has now submitted a new proposal that the council records meetings and posts audio on its website.

He said: “I’m building on Councillor Hill’s initiative and the proposals she presented to the Council in March.

“The Council voted not to support those proposals, but we did agree that we should bring forward some modified proposals that reflect councillors’ overall support for openness and transparency while addressing the concerns that they expressed last time.”

Councillor Lang said that council meetings were open to the public. “We encourage the press to attend, and we publish the details of forthcoming meetings on six noticeboards, the council website, Facebook and Twitter,” he said. “After the meetings, we publish the minutes on the website.

“What I’m proposing here is that we also make audio recordings of meetings and post these on the website. That way, people who can’t make it to the meetings will still have access to what went on – in full, and in context.”

He added: “We also have the recordings to refer to if there’s any disagreement over the wording of minutes.”

The council will debate and vote on the proposed changes at its next full meeting.

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