Save Our Sidmouth

New rights for the public to record meetings …EDDC’s response

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The following e-mail, dated 12th August 2014, been received by Chair of Save Our Sidmouth, Richard Thurlow, and is copied with his permission:

‘Dear Mr Thurlow

Thank you for your email sent in respect of the new regulations and guidance for filming Council meetings.

The regulations came out too late to include on the Overview and Scrutiny Committee agenda for its meeting of Thursday this week and so to address this, at the start of the meeting, the Chairman will read out the new rights for the public to record meetings.

For future agendas as standard, the wording will read:

This meeting is being audio recorded by EDDC for subsequent publication on the Council’s website.

Under the Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2014, any members of the public are now allowed to take photographs, film and audio record the proceedings and report on all public meetings (including on social media). No prior notification is needed but it would be helpful if you could let the democratic services team know you plan to film or record so that any necessary arrangements can be made to provide reasonable facilities for you to report on meetings. This permission does not extend to private meetings or parts of meetings which are not open to the public. You should take all recording and photography equipment with you if a public meeting moves into a session which is not open to the public.

If you are recording the meeting, you are asked to act in a reasonable manner and not disrupt the conduct of meetings for example by using intrusive lighting, flash photography or asking people to repeat statements for the benefit of the recording. You may not make an oral commentary during the meeting. The Chairman has the power to control public recording and/or reporting so it does not disrupt the meeting.

Members of the public exercising their right to speak during Public Question Time, but do not wish to be recorded, need to inform the Chairman who will instruct those taking a recording to cease while they speak.

The Constitution will be up-dated as soon as possible to reflect this.

With best wishes and thanks for your interest.

Diana Vernon
Democratic Services Officer’

Diana Vernon

Democratic Services Manager

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