Chichester district councillors say ‘no’ to recording

COUNCILLORS have voted not to allow audio recording in Chichester District Council meetings.

Members of the cabinet voted against the plans saying there was no need for meetings to be recorded when minutes were taken and there did not appear to be a large public interest.

Speaking against the recommendation, Cllr Janet Duncton, said: “Most of our meetings are public.

“If anyone is interested they have the opportunity to come and listen first hand.”

However, Cllr Josef Ransley, who put forward the original proposal said most residents worked during the day and were unlikely to attend a meeting in the city centre.

Speaking about audio recording, he said: “Given the great demand on the public and private sectors for transparency in decision making, this sort of approach seems to me to be an appropriate response.”

He added he was ‘very pleased’ residents would get another opportunity to see how decisions were made if the plans were approved.

Responding to claims no-one would listen to the recordings, Mr Ransley commented people had said the same thing when broadcasts first started from the Houses Of Parliament. A quick web poll, placed on the council website, asked the question: “Would you view or listen to council meetings online?” There were 138 responses to the poll – 41 per cent said yes and 59 per cent said no.

Council leader Heather Caird said: “So far, I have seen no need for it. Nearly all of our meetings are public and we don’t see many members of the public.”

She said social media could be a better way of involving residents and she couldn’t see any benefit to approving audio recording.