Green light for meeting filming

COUNCILLORS have voted to adopt a formal policy on the recording of council meetings after trouble broke out at a previous meeting when filming was taking place without permission.

Ashfield District Council members approved recommendations to adopt audio recording of meetings and protocol that would allow members of the public to film meetings subject to them making an advance request, at Thursday’s full council meeting.

The move comes after disruption was caused to the meeting held on 8th December when a member of the public was caught filming proceedings without permission.

He had asked if he could film the meeting just before it started, but his request had been refused.

The meeting was adjourned and he was asked to stop filming and to erase the recorded material, but he refused to do so and police were called to restore order.

Following this incident, the recommendations were unanimously approved by the councillors.

Coun Chris Baron, portfolio holder for customer and corporate services, said: “We as a council have to ensure that it deals with future requests to film or record at council or committee meetings in an open manner, while still allowing the council’s decision making process to operate efficiently and effectively.”

Thursday’s council meeting was actually being recorded after prior consent was given to a member of the public.

Questions about the events of 8th December were also asked at the meeting by Kirkby resident Andrew Chipperfield-Taylor.

He said that the council had banned the recording of that meeting without enquiring as to whether there was a reason under the Equality Act that the person wanted to film it.

“Why did the council fail to establish the requirements of the individual under the Equality Act and the intention of the individual to record at that meeting?” he said.

Coun John Knight said that he was ‘quite correct’ that the district council had had no formal policy on allowing filming of meetings and a full response to his questions would be given in writing.

“We thank you and other members of the public for pointing out this oversight,” Coun Knight told Mr Chipperfield-Taylor.