Monday, 17 December 2012

The Leader's amendment and an exercise in spin!

As the twists and turns of the filming' debate go on and on and on, a rather odd statement on the website of Carmarthenshire Labour was drawn to my attention, 'Labour Group Supports Live Broadcast of Council Meetings', it announced. Apparently, the amendment at last week's meeting, against the Plaid motion allowing the public to film was actually a proposal for webcasting! Well I never! In a splendid exercise in spin, the carefully crafted, stage managed ban on openness has been miraculously transformed into a call for transparency!

This is Cllr Madge's amendment which, if you remember the procedural contortions, became the 'substantive motion' and Cllr Hughes Griffiths' motion to allow the public to film, disappeared. There is no mention of livestreaming, my comments in brackets;

"This council notes that the Executive Committee has already agreed in principle to a pilot project for the broadcasting of council meetings [This is to record, censor and upload full council meetings only] and has commissioned a detailed report on costs which will come before council in the New Year. Council agrees to endorse the Executive Board decision to support the idea in principle but to await detailed information on costs before proceeding.

Council also notes that the Business Management Group [No agenda, no minutes], which comprises the Leader and Deputy Leader of the Labour, Independent and Plaid Cymru Groups on the council, unanimously agreed in July 2011 not to agree to members of the public filming council meetings and council resolves to reaffirm this policy until the pilot on broadcasting meetings has taken place and been evaluated"

Well, although the 'amendment' doesn't mention anything of the sort, I would of course welcome the livestreaming of all meetings. In consequence, filming by the public would then be fine (if anyone wanted to), as this truly paranoid council would always have a true record of proceedings, indeed we all would. Not that there's a rule against it anyway.

The Task and Finish group have spent 18 months looking at this whole issue (apart from public filming which they 'forgot') and came up with the useless pilot proposal, which was stalled by the Executive Board until further costs had been determined. The Labour group has now come up with this and yes, a further costing report will, at sometime in the future, go before the Executive. To say things move at a leisurely pace in Carmarthenshire would be an understatement and of course, whilst reports are awaited and budgets are being squeezed, the likelihood of anything happening grows, conveniently for the council perhaps, even more remote.


nospin said...

Cost absolutely nothing to allow the public to film and or record. MUPPETS

Does the grass grow very long in Carmarthenshire.?

Emlyn Uwch Cych said...

What is to stop one from quietly making an audio recording from the public gallery, anyway? Mini-MP3 recorder tucked in the pocket or handbag; away you go!

Or does everybody get a detailed stripsearch on the way upstairs to the gallery?