Campaigners welcome council filming move

17:23 19 August 2014

Archant

Campaigners have welcomed new rules which they say will help ‘demonstrate the lack of openness and puerile debate’ in local government.

The ‘right to report’ legislation, which came into force last week, allows members of the public to film, record and tweet live from meetings.

The news has been heralded as a major advance by campaigners from the East Devon Alliance (EDA) and Save Our Sidmouth (SOS), as well as East Devon District Council (EDDC) which says the new rules will enhance transparency.

Richard Thurlow, chairman of SOS, said the group intended to use the opportunity ‘to its fullest extent’.

He added: “This is extremely helpful as it will enable the public to record public EDDC meetings and demonstrate the lack of openness, often childish and puerile debate and steamroller tactics used.”

EDA chairman Paul Arnott said that the changes represented an ‘overdue reform’ but added that they would help to encourage democracy in local government.

He said: “This means that EDDC’s inadequate and even hostile replies to questions raised legitimately can be exposed to wider public scrutiny by council tax payers.

“Similarly, as open debates will be recorded by the public, councillors may decide to adopt a mature and courteous approach to each other and to the public.”

The rules apply to any public meeting held by town, parish, district and county councils and take effect immediately.

People wishing to film or record are not required to inform the council in advance.

Government guidelines encourage members of the public to let staff know so any necessary arrangements can be made.

An EDDC spokesman said: “We live in a modern digital world where the use of modern communication methods such as filming and tweeting should be embraced for enhancing the openness and transparency of local government.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Sidmouth Herald visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Sidmouth Herald staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Sidmouth Herald account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Other News Stories

Tommy Duffy

The community is pulling together to ensure the tragic circumstances surrounding the death of a homeless man are not repeated.

Read more
06:15
XXXX

As a boy, he wore his grandfather’s medals with pride. Today, Colin Kingman tells the story of a man who overcame adversity to become a Victoria Cross holder.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:27
Aidan Corfield on the rugby themed obstacle course at the world cup warm up event at Sidmouth rugby club. Ref shs 4241-13-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

Sidmouth Rugby Club put on a ‘spectacle of all levels’ with a family fun day.

Read more
Yesterday, 07:24
Free at last: One of the beavers swims away after being released in to the River Otter this week. Picture: Devon Wildlife Trust

A nine-month battle to allow England’s only wild beaver family to remain on the River Otter came to a close this week, after the animals were safely returned home.

Read more
Fri, 12:24
Tanya Trevena serves tea with Chloe Beard,Christina Clapp,Hazel Clapp,Sarah Turner and Ivor Turner at the guides vintage tea party. Ref shs 4487-13-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

A girl guides leader is finding her sea legs as she prepares to embark on a five-day sailing voyage in the Rolex Fastnet Race later this year.

Read more
Fri, 11:22
The official launch for Claire Wright's campaign to become elected as an East Devon Independent MP took place in the Unitarian Chapel in Sidmouth this week. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shs 4039-23-14SH To order your copy of this photograph go to www.sidmouthherald.co.uk and click on Photo Orders

East Devon’s independent parliamentary candidate has pledged to support the region’s ‘lifeblood’ traders and businesses if she is elected in May.

Read more
Fri, 10:10
Sidford Valley. Photo by Terry Ife ref shs 2244-39-12TI

Divisive plans for a 12-acre business park between Sidford and Sidbury look set to be scrapped after an eleventh-hour bid from Sid Valley representatives.

Read more
Thu, 16:14
Siblings Joseph and Hope Baker aged two and eight pictured at home this week after their seagull ordeals. Ref shs 0789-12-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Dad calls for fines after children’s ‘flying rodent’ terror

Read more
Thu, 11:10
Lily Thomas is raising money for the Menigitis Research Foundation.

A former Newton Poppleford primary pupil will be climbing to the peak of the world’s largest freestanding mountain to raise money for meningitis sufferers.

Read more
Thu, 07:30
Set in delightful grounds, the headquarters of EDDC at Knowle. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shs 7658-15-12SH. To order your copy of this photograph go to www.sidmouthherald.co.uk

Controversial plans to sell Knowle to a developer and relocate the district council from Sidmouth have been given the final go-ahead.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 12°C

min temp: 7°C

Most Read News

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Sidmouth Herald e-edition today E-edition



Devon's trusted business finder