Thursday, 22 December 2011

Llanelli Town Council calls to scrap filming ban

I'm ashamed to say it but I missed this article from the Llanelli Star on the 7th December. I very much appreciate the support of Llanelli Town Council particularly as it  lies within Carmarthenshire and also includes a few County Councillors. Let's just hope the Minister, Carl Sargeant is making notes on this, and other calls for local government transparency within Wales, in time for his attendance at the Assembly Petitions Committee on January 10th.

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!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

very good you have asked for FOIA in shared IT with Dyfed-powys police, it would be great if some evidence could be got of the hacking they do on computers and surveillance operations of innocent persons with no a place where there is little crime there may be a position to seek out 'possibles' in order to justify themselves, they have got to do something after all