Discussion over filming of council proceedings

FILMING of council meetings will be discussed at Chichester District Council today (September 9), to fall in line with government policy.

Members of the cabinet will consider allowing the public and press to record council meetings, providing it does not disrupt proceedings.

This follows the new Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2014, created by the government to make council proceedings more transparent.

Currently, the district council’s policy is not to allow the press or public to film or photograph council meetings, except with permission from the chairman, at his or her discretion.

Making audio recordings of council meetings is also banned under current rules.

If new policy is agreed, members of the public will be able to film or audio-record any meeting, but should inform an officer of their intentions before the meeting.

West Sussex County Council regularly webcasts its meetings, allowing members of the public to watch proceedings as they happen.

However, there is no plans to webcast meetings at the district council at this time. A report to be put to the cabinet also includes plans to allow the press and public to use social media to report on council meetings.

The cabinet will discuss the proposals and make a recommendation to the full council, where the final decision will be made.

If the plans go through, members of the public attending meetings, and public speakers, will be able to make a request not to be filmed.

The public can attend the meeting at 9.30am, in East Pallant House.