ARUN District Council’s chief executive admitted he was disappointed with the low viewing figures of the authority’s second online streaming session of its meeting.
This month’s special full council meeting at the Arun Civic Centre, in Maltravers Road, Littlehampton, was streamed online at Arun’s website.
However, fewer than 90 people watched the event – which cost the council about £2,000.
Nigel Lynn, chief executive of the authority, said that although the numbers were low, he would still be committed to offering an online streaming service of important meetings, so that those who may not be able to attend them would be able to watch them at home.
Mr Lynn said: “We’ve had problems in the past of not enough public being able to come into the building.
“This is only the second time we have done it. We did it for the leisure strategy meeting and that was reasonably successful.
“Unfortunately, there is quite a lot of cost involved so we need to think about if it is something that is sustainable or not in the future and work with the problems as they arise.”
Arun’s Liberal Democrat leader, councillor Francis Oppler, said he wholeheartedly supported online streaming and said he was confused by Mr Lynn’s disappointment.
“Clearly there are some teething problems that we need to overcome,” Cllr Oppler said. “But it’s something that the county council has been doing very successfully for a number of years.
“I wouldn’t be dismayed if only one person watched it on the night if it means that hundreds will watch it at a later date, when the video is archived on Arun’s website.”
Gazette readers have also reacted to the story on our Facebook page.
Andy Moore said: “I have live-streamed many live events of my own and it didn’t cost me a penny, so £2,000 can probably be broken down in this way: £1,950 admin fees and £50 wages for the person left to click the left button if the mouse.”
Another one of the Gazette’s facebook followers said: “It’s only a short while since 250 members of the public were refused admission to the council chamber because the public gallery was full.
“This has to be an improvement and is a step forward for the council in engaging with the public. I suspect this was done at short notice and if the council had issued a press release many more people would have known about it.”
The meeting took place last Tuesday. The webcast is available on Arun’s website, at www.arun.gov.uk