Wrexham Council has today maintained its ban on the use of Twitter in council meetings.
On a number of occasions Wrexham.com reporters have been told they cant send tweets from council meetings, a method we would have preferred to use to inform our followers of the proceedings during important council meetings such as those concerning the recently scrapped parking charges.
Wrexham Council has now responded to a Freedom of Information request sent by a member of the public asking them to clarify their position on webcasting, tweeting and blogging from council meetings.
With regards to tweeting from meetings, their response states: “The relevant standing order is standing order 45 on page 4-18 of the Council’s constitution.”
Standing order 45 titled 45 Photograph and Recording at Meetings states “Proceedings at meetings may not be photographed, videoed, sound recorded or transmitted in any way outside the meeting without prior permission of the Chair. Failure to comply with this Standing Order may invoke Standing Orders 14 and 15 relating to Disorderly Conduct and Disturbance by members of the public. ”
It would appear that tweeting is regarded by the council as a form of transmission and is therefore banned without prior consent of the Chair.
Standing order 16 relating to disturbances by members of the public goes on to say that if a member of the public fails to comply with any request made by the Chair they may be warned and if they continue could be asked to leave the meeting.
Wrexham.com’s reasons for using Twitter are primarily to keep our Twitter followers informed of the results of council meetings and to make them more transparent. We hope that we will be able to resolve the issue of live tweeting from meetings.
Earlier this month we revealed how the council had scrapped proposals to broadcast council meetings live online due to costing issues.
The full FOI request can be found here: http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/tweeting_blogging_and_filming_in_6#incoming-194362
Wrexham Council’s constitution is available in full below:
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