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0 votes
There have been numerous irregularities in our Council meetings and although these are being brought up by councillors to the PC and Chair they are choosing to avoid them. The PC has reverted to blinding us all with legal speak and therefore councillors have backed off and decided not to further engage which is extremely disturbing in an environment that should follow the Nolan Principles.

At a recent meeting a councillor was quoted / accused of making certain statements by the PC, which were then added to an email where they had no place.

As a councillor can we request a copy of a virtual meeting - video and audio as back up to these irregularities.

Finding the virtual meeting arrangement very biased... any advise greatly appreciated before a request for information is made.
by (330 points)

3 Answers

+1 vote
Yes you can request copies of recordings of meetings.   As a councillor you are jointly responsible for the decisions and actions of your council along with every other councillor. Therefore you should have access to all of it's assets including all information, hard copy and electronic to empower you to fulfil that obligation.  The clerk is supposed to provide administrative resource and advice to his or her members and should facilitate the means for you to view them, perhaps on a memory stick or download. Cllrs are also responsible as you say for meeting the nolan principles of honesty & Integrity.  If you feel that these are not being met by other members, you should not be obstructed in seeking evidence to establish if that is the case.

Let us know what the response is!
by (35.4k points)
+1 vote
Your council should have a policy regarding use and retention of recordings of meetings. In my councils, recordings are made solely to assist the clerk in the preparation of the minutes and once the draft minutes have been published, the recording is deleted. It is not available to anybody other than the clerk.
by (53.3k points)
You do, of course, have the right to make your own recordings.
If using the zoom platform, and I am open to correction the recording permission is controlled by the person setting up the meeting and it can be blocked. But if a member of the public wish to click the record button on zoom surely the PC cannot block them being allowed to do so and have it recorded to their own computer. If they did then this would contravene the transparency requirements.
I wondered about this. I've hosted every Zoom meeting I've taken part in, so I wasn't sure if each participant had the record feature available to them. Bearing in mind the fact that any member of the public present at any local government meeting may record the proceedings, there is no reason why a participant couldn't do this.
Dave yes each participant has a record button on their dash which is controlled by the host. If it is locked by the host then there should be a request to record button which again should be under the hosts control.
Any person logged in to the meeting can make their own audio / video record of an open council meeting by using the screen record function with Quicktime player.  This would be the equivalent of attending a meeting in person (pre C19) and video recording the meeting.
Our Parish Clerk has a similar system in place where she erases the recording after completing the draft Minutes. Most Parish Councillors assume this is erased after the minutes are signed at the next month's meeting. I have requested the full Council to propose the way the Audio recordings are stored and deleted as there is no mention in Standing Orders or FOI mentioning Audio tapes.  The Clerk replied that she needs to catch up with her Administration as the Section in FOI regarding storage and deletion of documents is answered by "not applicable"
+1 vote
If you tell the public that the meeting is recorded they can request a copy of the meeting under a FOI
by (6.3k points)
If a zoom meeting is being recorded there is a small red dot in the top left hand side of the screen to show recording is in progress.
Let’s face it if someone wants to record it they will.

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