Monday, 28 February 2011

Filming in the Chamber...(and the Care Homes Stay Open!)

Pleased to see the campaigners trying to save two care homes for the elderly in Llanelli score a victory today in Carmarthenshire Council Chamber. I intended to remain for the entire budget debate but due to the late start, a flat battery on my phone and severe toothache I called it a day. I spent an interesting couple of hours though filming, photographing, and tweeting from the public gallery. Further to my previous post, whereas it may not be council policy it is not against the law to record meetings in such a way. This was, as you will see from the quality of the video, an experiment and the examples are given (YouTube links) to make my point. Point made.
Transparency, even in this cosmetic 'showcase' form, needn't come at a price.
The Care Home closure debate itself saw various Councillors making their point including one who mentioned the £100,000 squiffed by the Planning department pursuing Mr Humphreys and his Mill, another reminded everyone of the gift to 'the stadium'. As the debate continued M Gravell looked crosser and crosser, and a recorded vote, (28 to 38) meant the Care homes stay open.
I must mention that our two local stalwarts of the elderly, Cllr Ivor Jackson and Cllr Tom Theophilus both 'Independents', and ever loyal to Meryl, voted for closure.

UPDATE March 1st;
Remember, the combined pay of those you see sat at the 'top table' is approaching £1.3 million. 

Today's newspaper articles about yesterday's debates;


To date, the You Tube clips have been viewed 216 times!


Lliedi said...

I have heard that the leader of the Independents took the Chief Executive with her to a recent Independent Group meeting so that he could explain the issues to any councillors that were considering thinking independently and voting against their glorious leader. Those that expressed doubts received individual “discussions” with the Chief Executive.

It is reassuring to see that occasionally members of Independent Group really do act independently despite this type of pressure.

It would be good to see the list of the 28 councillors that stayed loyal to this despotic regime, and even better to see the despots leave for good.

Well done on the videos. I’m sure there would have been less than 28 voting in favour if they knew that the debate and vote was being recorded. The videoing of council meetings has to be the way forward if we are going to get democracy in Carmarthenshire. I’m sure it will be resisted…

Anonymous said...

The film footage of the council meeting was most welcome. I cannot get out as much as I would like, but I do take an interest in local politics. It would be much appreciated by many older people like myself, if every council meeting was recorded in this way. Parliament debates are recorded regularly, so why not our own local authority. Good for democracy and good for transparency. I sincerely hope that filming of the council meetings become a regular event.