"MOTION CALLS FOR SCRAPPING OF FILMING BAN
Llanelli Town Council has called on the Welsh Government to take action after a blogger was arrested for filming a county council meeting.
The council passed a unanimous motion calling on the Welsh Government to require all local authorities throughout Wales to allow audio and video recordings "wherever it is reasonable to do so".
Councillor Mike Gimblett, who proposed the motion at its latest meeting, said he was appalled by the way Jacqui Thompson was treated when she was arrested at the Carmarthenshire Council meeting in June.
Four police officers were called to County Hall after Mrs Thompson, who publishes a blog about council business, was seen filming with a mobile phone in the public gallery.
The Llanwrda community councillor was arrested to prevent a breach of the peace, and later let go without charge.
While Mrs Thompson had previously found herself in hot water with the authority, which currently prohibits filming council meetings, Mr Gimblett felt the response was disproportionate.
"She was arrested and taken to the police station — it was appalling," he said.
"That started me looking at our own standing orders for Llanelli Town Council.
"I put the motion forward because I was appalled at the way and the attitude of the council towards Mrs Thompson."
Mrs Thompson welcomed the support of the council.
"It's very nice to know," she said. "I've got two petitions with the Welsh Government which are being discussed and they are very positive.
"For Llanelli Town Council to even do this I think is brilliant, it's great.
"Across Carmarthenshire a few other councils have made similar noises but anything is a bonus, especially anything in Carmarthenshire because it's putting pressure on the county council and maybe even showing them up a little bit."
A Carmarthenshire Council spokesman said this week: "A task and finish group has been set up by the policy and resources scrutiny looking at e-government in general and recording meetings is part of that. A report will be completed and will go to the scrutiny committee with recommendations and will then go to the executive board and full council."
(Please search this blog - or Google - for much, much more on this subject)
Whilst I'm on the subject of transparency I have asked Carmarthenshire Council a few more Freedom of Information requests concerning;
Cwm Environmental Ltd
Details of Council officers' expenses
Shared IT services with Dyfed Powys Police
Responses can be expected towards the end of January. Incidentally, it's nearly a fortnight since I asked the Acting Head of Law, Ms Linda Rees-Jones to remove my full address from one of their FoI responses, she replied with "I will look into it" - it's still there. She's clearly taking the title 'Acting' in it's literal sense.
Update 23rd December; Recieved an email from Ms R-J at 4.30pm, she told me she has asked the website to remove address and I have just noticed my address has been removed - at long last!