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Richmondshire Council considers allowing filming

Richmondshire Council considers allowing filming

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Published by Sarah Hartley
The issue is item 9 at the full council meeting on Tuesday 23 July at 6.30pm in the council chamber, Swale House, Richmond.
The issue is item 9 at the full council meeting on Tuesday 23 July at 6.30pm in the council chamber, Swale House, Richmond.

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Published by: Sarah Hartley on Jul 19, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Item 9
23 July 2013
Report of Democratic Services Manager
 All WardsKey Decision = N1.0 Purpose of Report
 1.1 To consider amending the Council’s Constitution to allow the filming of meetingsand using social media to report on meetings.
2.0 Decisions Sought
2.1 That Members decide whether to permit the filming of meetings for broadcast viathe internet
3.0 Link to Corporate Priorities
3.1 This proposal links to the theme of Corporate Management
4.0 Introduction & Background
4.1 In March this year, Group Leaders considered a request from a local resident to filmmeetings of the Council which would be broadcast over the internet. Group Leadersreferred the request to the Member Working Group involved with the OfficeAccommodation project. That group responded by arranging an all Memberworkshop to which the resident was invited to give a presentation. The workshoptook place on Wednesday 26 June. In summary, Members were generallysupportive of the proposals although one or two concerns were raised, such as:(a) Scope of recording? Whether entire meetings would be recorded, or justitems relating to particular locations or topics. Would the video stream beaccessible to the whole of the District?(b) Would all meetings be recorded? If certain meetings are recorded and othersnot then there may be a perception that the Council is cherry-picking what itwishes to be broadcast;(c) Ownership - Whether footage ought to be retained by the Council and what itcan do to police any malicious use or unauthorised editing of material online;(d) Resolution/quality of video footage/equipment to be used? High resolutionvideo offers a better viewing experience, however may not be practical forareas of the District with insufficient broadband capabilities. The equipmentdemonstrated was a smartphone and tablet computer;(e) Method of broadcast? The equipment demonstrated requires a wirelessinternet connection (“Wi-fi”) in the meeting room.
(f) Would there be access to the broadcasts beyond Richmond, possible linkson other Richmondshire websites including our own.4.2 Part A rule 24 of the constitution currently addresses the use of recordingequipment and is set out below:
24.0 Use of Audio Equipment
The use of audio and/or visual recording equipment at any meeting shall not bepermitted unless:(i) two thirds of the Members present agree to its use at that meeting; and(ii) an identical duplicate recording is made concurrently by the personundertaking the recording and given to the Chief Executive immediately atthe end of such permitted recording.”
4.3 Clearly the existing rule has been in place for some time and does not addresschanges in technology and social media culture which allow for simultaneousrecording and broadcast via the internet.4.4 The issue has also been considered recently by central Government who, in late June this year, issued a guide for local people entitled Your Council’s Cabinet Going to Its Meetings, Seeing How it Works”. This guidance does not relate to RDCas it only applies to councils who operate with a cabinet but it does indicate thatacross central and local government there is an acceptance that the public are nowbecoming used to accessing services in many different ways and that includes howthey participate in council business.4.5 If Members are in favour of allowing the recording and broadcast of meetings therule would have to apply to any meeting open to the public and would require someamendments to the Constitution to set the ground rules. A suggested protocol isattached at Appendix 1.4.6 Democratic Services are currently investigating the purchase of a new documentmanagement system which can incorporate a webcast of meetings to accompanythe Minutes on the Council’s website. The full functions and specification of thissoftware will be included in the funding bid for the DMS which will be presented to afuture meeting of Strategy Board.
5.0 Recommendations
5.1 That members confirm whether they wish to allow the filming and broadcast of allmeetings open to the public.
6.0 Corporate Implications
6.1 Scrutiny ConsultationNone although a Member Workshop has been held6.2 Community Engagement
Permitting the filming of Council Meetings would actively promote communityengagement6.3 Environment & SustainabilityNone6.4 Financial Implications The cost of this proposal is: Nil This will be funded by: N/A This will impact on the mediumterm budget position by:N/A6.5 Legal ImplicationsNone6.6 Risk Implications The guidance issued suggests that the filming of Officers and Members isacceptable, however the filming of members of the public may not be permittedshould they object. Care must be taken to ensure that the privacy of public in thegallery is respected. The Chairman would have the discretion to stop any filmingshould this be the case.
6.7 Human Resource ImplicationsNone6.8 Equalities ImplicationsNone6.9 Health & Safety ImplicationsNone
7.0 Further Information
7.1 Background Papers 7.2 File Reference None7.3 Appendices None
Contact Officer:
Michael Dowson
Councillor Mick Griffiths

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