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

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

Yesterday, 15:35
Beer bee Keeper. Ref shb 5969-39-14TI. Picture: Terry Ife

A Beer beekeeper hopes to generate a buzz about his hive with a short film and book.

Read more
Thursday, December 18, 2014
Mary King greeted with Herald in California

Olympic silver medallist Mary King was met with a familiar sight in the Californian heat on a recent trip to America - as she was greeted with a copy of the Sidmouth Herald.

Read more
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Jonathan Marshall

A celebrity falconer’s media career is in ruins after he forged an animal passport for his Golden Eagle so he could appear on the ITV Alan Titchmarsh show.

Read more
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Head teacher of Newton Poppleford Primary School, Stuart Vaughan. Ref shs 3049-50-14AW. Picture: Alex Walton.

The £2.5million rebuild of Newton Poppleford Primary School will be good for the pupils and the community as a whole, according to its headteacher.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 7°C

Most Read News

Photo Orders
Competitions
Subscriptions
Facebook
Family notices

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Sidmouth Herald e-edition today E-edition
Devon�s trusted business finder