Ottery council agree to record meetings

Ottery Town Council agreed to record its meetings for the first time to try and stop arguments breaking out over minutes.

As reported in the Herald, last month’s council meeting saw a heated discussion in the council chamber about the wording of minutes from a planning meeting, which prompted the decision to look into audio recordings of meetings.

After a meeting at the Narthex in West Hill to discuss the planned development on the Cooper Trust land in the village, several councillors disagreed with the draft minutes and reference to a ‘a more balanced use of this land would be appropriate’ on the motion, but were outvoted.

So at this month’s meeting Deputy Mayor Ian Holmes proposed the Town Council keep a recording of future meetings until the minutes are approved before destroying them.

He said: “We have occasional disagreements which came to a head last month. We would simply record, approve, delete, they would be for reference only and avoiding the situation we have had in the past.

But Councillor Claire Wright, who was one of the members who disagreed with the minutes about the Cooper Trust development, said: “But minutes are broad brush, not the details of a conversation so it won’t make it better to know exactly what was said.”

Cllr Holmes countered, stating: “That is not the intention; it’s purely to arbitrate if there are disagreements to clarify.”

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The council agreed in principle they are in favour of the rerecording of meetings until the minutes are approved, with the exact wording to be worked out by Deputy Mayor Holmes for approval at next month’s meeting.