Arun District Council defers decision to film meetings

Arun's council chamber
Arun's council chamber

MEMBERS of the public are soon likely to be able to film council meetings, but Arun District Council is unlikely to be making its own recordings for the time being.

The overview select committee meeting on Tuesday, January 21, heard it would cost around £2,000 to webcast individual meetings.

For the year, filming council meetings in the council chamber alone would cost around £19,500, a report provided to the councillors said.

If filming took place in further committee rooms this could increase to around £50,000, the report added.

The Local Audit and Accountability Bill, which contains new rules allowing the filming of council meetings, has not yet received royal assent but is expected to do so shortly.

Paul English, chairman of the overview select committee, said: “As there’s no requirement for us to film these meetings, would we be prepared to spend £20,000 to £50,000 in these austere times?”

Councillors voted to agree the recommendations made by council officer Paul Warters. These include noting the projected costs of filming and recording meetings, allowing the public to film the meetings (when the Bill passes) and considering using existing recording equipment available in the council chamber to potentially record meetings.

The committee will reconsider the impact of the legislation, and the potential need to film its meetings, in six months.