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Recording of meetings

0 votes

Our Governance Committee is revising our standing orders and I have an item that I am know confused about. The model Standing Orders for Wales contains this:

Photographing, recording, broadcasting or transmitting the proceedings of a meeting by any means is not permitted without the Council’s prior written consent.

But the askyourcouncil website says that anyone can photograph or film a meeting that is open to the public, even without permission.  The subject is also raised in a few posts here and the replies also say filming etc is permitted.  Are the model standing orders wrong or out of date?

asked by (1.1k points)

4 Answers

+1 vote

I think your standing orders might be a bit out of date. Have a look at the NALC pages or lots of other examples on the net with up to date orders.

Ours says:

Subject to standing order 3(n), a person who attends a meeting is permitted to report on the meeting whilst the meeting is open to the public. To “report” means to film, photograph, make an audio recording of meeting proceedings, use any other means for enabling persons not present to see or hear the meeting as it takes place or later or to report or to provide oral or written commentary about the meeting so that the report or commentary is available as the meeting takes place or later to persons not present.

A person present at a meeting may not provide an oral report or oral commentary about a meeting as it takes place without permission.

The press shall be provided with reasonable facilities for the taking of their report of all or part of a meeting at which they are entitled to be present.

In another section is says:

Subject to the publication of draft minutes in accordance with standing order 12(e) and standing order 20(a) and following a resolution which confirms the accuracy of the minutes of a meeting, the draft minutes or recordings of the meeting for which approved minutes exist shall be destroyed.

answered by (3.8k points)
Thank you for replying. The paragraph in bold is actually from the Model Standing orders on One Voice Wales website. And is based on a NALC model. If you see my reply to DaveTheClerk below you will see a letter I have discovered from the Welsh Government.
0 votes
Based on my experience of being  reported to the Police and ICO despite my Chair having already received legal advice from NALC that the public and Councillors can record meetings I can confirm that your Standing Orders are in breech of the Law

In fact there’s a video of my Chair on YouTube being told she is in breech of the Law
answered by (4.4k points)
Thanks for the reply Jules.  See below a reply to DaveTheClerk. I discovered a letter from Welsh Government.
0 votes
The council is supposed to inform people they are recording a meeting to give individuals the freedom to  Decide whether they want to speak or this should also be reciprocated by the public  but is not always the case. Closed meetings should not be recorded.

zoom meetings unfortunately have opened up a new style of recordings as technology has brought in its own issues and is difficult to manage.

Where all recordings are in danger of falling fowl is the safeguarding regulations if you have youngsters or vulnerable people present.

It is all very hard to police but the rules have to be “think before you speak“ just in case it is being recorded.
answered by (5.3k points)
Thank you for your reply.
+1 vote
The right of members of the public to record meetings in England, with or without permission, doesn't extend to Wales. In Wales, permission is still required and individual councils may choose to require prior written consent, rather than a less formal consent granted at the start of the meeting.

Different country, different rules.
answered by (33.1k points)
Thank you Dave. But while looking on the internet I came across a letter from the Welsh Government to someone who had queried something similar related to standing orders. He then posted the letter online This is a paragraph from that letter:

Current legislation does not expressly permit or prohibit photographing, recording,
broadcasting or transmitting the proceedings of a community or town council meeting. The
council meetings must be open to the public, the press and public have a right to observe
how community and town councils operate, unless sensitive issues are being discussed
such as legal, contractual or personnel matters. Again, councils are encouraged to set out
the format for public participation in its standing orders, but it is a matter for each council, at
its discretion, to decide the details of such arrangements, which could take account of any
data protection or other security matters that may arise as a consequence.

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