In May, I was not alone in castigating Shropshire Council for actions “worthy of a totalitarian state” when it confiscated cameras from members of the public at the beginning of a council meeting. Three days after Viv Parry gave notice of a question at last Thursday’s council meeting, the rules were changed. Now Keith Barrow has said he wants council meetings to be broadcast.
He told last Thursday’s council meeting:
I think this council meeting should be videoed. I have asked officers to look at the feasibility of video – not just the council meeting but I think planning meetings as well. I think it would be good for the council and good for people as well.
I wholeheartedly agree with this. Recording and broadcasting of council and planning meetings should be instigated as soon as possible – even if it is initially just audio recordings. (Must as the House of Commons was first broadcast on audio before cameras were allowed into the chamber.)
When Shropshire Council eventually moves out of Shirehall, the new building should be equipped to broadcast all meetings held in public.
Back in May, I was not alone in castigating Shropshire Council for actions “worthy of a totalitarian state” when it confiscated cameras from members of the public at the beginning of a council meeting. Now it has backed down. The new guidance was issued three days after my colleague, councillor Vivienne Parry submitted a question about the confiscation for the full council meeting on 23 July.
The new guidance is shorter and in line with government legislation put in place last October. The previous guidance had permitted video and audio recording by the public without notice, but not by the media or commercial interests. Use of still cameras was restricted to the first five minutes of a council meeting and required notice two working days beforehand.
Continue reading “Shropshire Council loosens its restrictive rules on recording council meetings”
Shropshire Council is busy transferring many of its staff and services to its wholly owned company, ip&e. This company still must respond to freedom of information requests, in almost the same way that Shropshire Council does even if those requests are ‘bizarre’ in the eyes of council leader Keith Barrow.
Continue reading “Freedom of information and ip&e – FoI is not ‘bizarre’ as council leader claims”
In a move worthy of a totalitarian state, yesterday Shropshire Council confiscated cameras from members of the public attending its council meeting. It also prevented recording of the meeting. In doing so, it was in breach of national statutes which clearly state that recording should of meetings should be allowed without hindrance. I find it unbelievable in an age of supposedly open government that cameras were confiscated. The banning of recording was not legal. I can’t see that taking cameras away from members of the public was legal. Shropshire Council should make a public apology for its anti-democratic actions.
Continue reading “Shropshire Council in democratic failure after illegal confiscation of cameras at council meeting”
If you live in Ludlow North your polling station may have moved from the Library to Ludlow Mascall Centre. Details are on your polling card.
In previous elections, voting took place in the library. But when Shropshire Council moved staff from Stone House into the library, no thought was given to what would happen on polling days.
In recent months, we have discussed several options for polling stations in the town centre but most proved suitable or unavailable. The final decision was to move the polling station for Whitcliffe and Corve wards to the Ludlow (Bishop) Mascall Centre. This will not be as convenient as the Library for town centre residents but it does have a good sized car park. The 722 and 701 buses also stop directly outside on the way back into town.
Continue reading “Ludlow North polling station has moved to Mascall for many voters”