Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Carmarthenshire webcast begins...and other news

BBC article which includes a bit about me;
I have also recorded a piece for the BBC, it might be on the Wales news later. (Have just watched it and for some reason my contribution was not included)


Well, for those of you who missed the webcast, it should be available on archive later on, after some editing maybe. If you enjoy prayer, pomp and mutual backslapping, it'll be just your thing. However, it was the AGM and future meetings may be a little more interesting.

Technically the live streaming was very well done (by @Public_i) As for the cast...? Well, Kevin Madge's Leader's report is probably best forgotten. Incidentally, there was much waffle at the start about declarations of interest and making sure Cllrs spoke up, went out, verbally declared etc - usually they just pass a form round, which went missing on one occasion.

At one point the Chair indicated to Pam Palmer (Ind leader) that it was her turn to speak, she was surprised as she hadn't asked to speak; "but it's in the script" said the Chair. Oh dear.

The only chink in the usual spin was the Plaid leader's reply which brought up Labour's failure to support the Living Wage for it's 'cherished' employees and the recent embarrassing ombudsman reports. Anyway, I don't know why I'm telling you this, force of habit I guess.


Failing any last minute problems, it looks like the long awaited webcasting pilot will actually start today at 11am, so far there's no link, or mention on the council website but the page can be found here;
(update; with 45 minutes until the meeting starts, the council have just put a link on the website)

For a few brief hours yesterday the Council homepage featured news of two 'focus' group meetings, arranged for next week to chew over a light buffet and the council propaganda rag, the Carmarthenshire News. At some point the article was unceremoniously squirreled away to a remote corner of the website just in case, I presume, anyone decided to go. The Carmarthenshire News now enjoys joint contributions from various taxpayer funded services such as the police and the health board. Masterminded by the press squad  at County Hall, it has been the subject of recent FoI's to try and get to the bottom of the finances, or, 'creative accounting', to quote local politicians.

One meeting will be held at the new state-of the-art £10m Strategic Co-ordination Centre Police HQ in Carmarthen, which has finally found a purpose. The other at, (no not Parc Y Scarlets this time), The Furnace Theatre, Llanelli. (As an aside, you may remember when residents of Carmarthenshire, asked to vote for a name for the new theatre, chose The Stepney Centre, but the council had other ideas and chose the name which came second in the poll, all of which was revealed through a FoI). 

Anyway, if you would like to offer some 'feedback', or make other useful suggestions as to where exactly you would like to place your copy of the Carmarthenshire News, you will need to email your 'expression of interest', after you've located the article on the website. You haven't got much time either. Good luck with that.

With the propaganda rag dominating the homepage, I can only imagine that the preparations for today's webcast of the AGM were so frantic that the press office had clean forgotten to mention it, not even a tweet. I suppose last minute wardrobe issues and getting the make-up right is keeping everyone busy, I expect the ladies are preoccupied too.

So, we look forward to an enthusiastic announcement this morning. But just in case there's isn't, (and depending on the council getting it's act together), it's due to start at 11am.


One more thing I'd like to mention is the defeat by Labour in the Assembly of Rhodri Glyn Thomas' (Plaid) amendment to the Local Democracy Bill. This was a modest but important attempt to open up council meetings to members of the public and allow the free use of social media in an attempt to "..put a stop to the stories across Wales of local people being stopped from commenting publicly on these public matters."
Why on earth the amendment wasn't passed unanimously, and without question, I have no idea.


Anonymous said...

I cannot believe that we the taxpayer are paying to hear them praise each other! Cut the crap CCC and lets get down to brass tacks.

Anonymous said...

missed the webcast but can't get the archive footage to play. Anyone who can help?

caebrwyn said...

Anon 17.43
It doesn't appear to be available yet, I'll post a link when it is.

Anonymous said...

What was it that Mark James said on Radio Carms about web casting CCC meetings? Correct me if I am wrong but did he not say words to the effect of no one will be interested and no one will watch! Clearly with over 500 people watching the live broadcast today, it just goes to show how out of touch he really is with the people of Carmarthenshire.

Anonymous said...

It was running until around 2.50pm then nothing seems we get shut out after a time, was so looking forward to Kev and tongue in cheek visuals again. Have they not heard of body language coaching!! Hilarious to say the least some members seem to have to scratch their way through the meeting.

The script as the chair so wonderfully pointed out was obviously created with depth of promises of nothing other that EU funding....

There is even a little box for us to leave feedback!! Wonder what they will do with that info from us???... Don't forget the immediate cookie box that appears as soon as you touch the link to the webcast page!!

Thanks for this Jacqui, at least we could lose a few councillors who appear illiterate and incapable!!! We can see what we have got now!!!

Eyes wide open people!!! Watch the webcast and see your councillors!!!

caebrwyn said...

The meeting is now available on archive here;

I haven't checked the editing yet.

Over 500 people watched the live stream. Good. Keep watching, or lose it.

caebrwyn said...

Surprisingly, and for the first time I can remember, a link to the Carms News 'consultation' has now appeared on council homepage. Have our friends in County Hall been reading those 'blogsites'? (Again).

Anonymous said...

Did Pam Palmer make a freudian slip when she said, "No spin of course, you wouldn't expect it from me, would you?"

Angharad said...

It was interesting viewing and at last we can see what our council tax pays for. I was also interested in the declaration of interest speech at the beginning. Congratulations Jacqui on starting this movement towards a more democratic approach to county council affairs. Its also a good learning tool for young people in the community who want to stand for council and what to expect in the chamber.

Anonymous said...

Although I am impressed that we have managed to see and hear these meetings without going through the gestapo frontier security at County Hall (we pay for). I cringed when listening to these people try to speak. No wonder the county is in such a mess. Sadly this is reflected on many of our local and county councils across the U.K. The same dinosaurs, poorly educated and void of personality. How many times can one man mention how many functions he has attended? Obviously self conscious with such huge egos most appeared to faff their written lines. Whatever happened to thinking on one's feet? Each us us contributes to the huge wages these people earn as our councillors. We must now all look and listen to see what exactly it is that we are paying them for.

Anonymous said...

Well done Jacquie. A victory for yourself and your efforts to have some form of transparency from this lot. It's good to know that so many taxpayers have taken an interest. Good to have the opportunity to see wahat we are paying for, not so sure it instills much confidence. Perhaps after a few more months of rehearsals and getting used to the camera we'll see something that resembles a confident and competent council in action. Heres hoping!

Anonymous said...

Well done Jacquie for making this possible. Having watched the recording I am worried.
Firstly I thought pity.
But there are serious issues here, this has to be a must for sociology and psychology students as part of their coursework.

Anonymous said...

Body language experts would have a field day to! Excellent teaching material for future councillors!

Reckon we do have a few that will be poles ahead, whether they get air time though is another thing!!!