Campaigners welcome council filming move

17:23 19 August 2014


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.”


Welcome , please leave your message below.

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

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

Fire in derelict Ottery building

An arson attack that destroyed a derelict building in Ottery has prompted its owner to install tougher security measures.

Read more
Sidmouth Surf Life Saving Club take on the River Dart Struggle

A group from Sidmouth Surf Life Saving Club (SSLSC) negotiated a ramshackle craft through rapids and weirs to a third-place finish in one of the toughest raft races in the country.

Read more
Alma Bridge. Ref shs 8760-10-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

A vital footway across the River Sid may have to close if cliff erosion in the area worsens, according to County Hall.

Read more
Matt Booth

The results of yesterday’s (Thursday) Sidmouth Town Council by-election have been announced.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:25
The Sidmouth Friends of the Samaritans held their AGM this week. Pictured are chairman Sue Kensdale with from left Ron Harbour (treasurer), vice chairman Gerald Hayne and Denis Jones (sec). Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shs 3446-08-14SH. To order your copy of this photograph go to

A long-running fundraising group, which has donated more than £114,000 to charity, is to fold as it cannot find a new committee.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:25
Daffodil bulb planting at Peak Hill in 2013. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 6320-44-13AW. To order your copy of this photograph go to and click on Photo Orders

Planting this month is set to take Sidmouth past the half-way mark in turning it into the ‘Valley of a Million Bulbs’.

Read more
Wed, 16:25
EDDC's Knowle HQ. Ref shs 7705-15-12SH Picture: Simon Horn

Campaigners who have decided not to pursue a bid to secure legal protection for Knowle’s parkland claim the bid has cast doubt on future use of Localism legislation in East Devon.

Read more
Wed, 12:25
The Radway cinema in Sidmouth. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shs 7345-13-14SH To order your copy of this photograph go to and click on Photo Orders

James Bond fans need to act fast as tickets for a VIP screening of the super-spy’s latest silver screen outing have almost sold out.

Read more
Wed, 06:25
Prospective town councillors Matt Booth and Deirdre Hounsom

Residents in the West ward will go to the polls tomorrow (October 8) to fill a vacancy on Sidmouth Town Council.

Read more
Tue, 14:38
AA Awards

Recognition from industry’s ‘Oscars’ helps put county on the map

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 10°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Read the Sidmouth Herald e-edition E-edition

Find a job in Sidmouth

Local business directory

Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications