This is a very topical and relevant topic for Wrexham.com as we would like to tweet from the odd council meetings however ‘trasmitting from the meeting is not allowed’ so we have to abide by that rule until future clarification.
To provide a webcast of council meetings it will apparently cost the massive figure of £31,000 for Full Council and Exec Meetings ONLY , to the eye watering £125,000 for all meetings.
Wrexham.com notes that the council have been advised that “the follow up audience is limited as when content is in audio / visual format it is not picked up by Search Engines”. With the advancement of Google and the like, such media is not only spidered but can be automatically translated and subtitled. The latter is free on systems such as Youtube.
The recommendation to the council was that ‘webcasting will not offer any clear benefits for WCBC to outweigh the significant costs generated’.
One area that would require changing is the constitution of the council as it prohibits the broadcasting or recording of council meetings. This is where our current Twitter ban comes from. The proposals would still have this ban in place, as the rules would only be changed to allow council recording not ‘unauthorised third party recording’. If the aim is for transparency and to see democracy in action this reporter wonders why this is required – why not open it to all?
Further legal implications have been raised as a ‘usage protocol’ would be required, allowing public speakers to opt out of the coverage and ability for the chair to suspend filming if it impeds the running of the meeting.