Coun­cil­could put­meet­ings on­theweb

Stirling Observer - - FRONT PAGE -

Stir­ling coun­cil­lors are to con­sider we­b­cast­ing meet­ings.

Forth and En­drick ward coun­cil­lor Robert Davies said for some of his con­stituents it could be a 50-mile round trip if they wanted to at­tend a Stir­ling Coun­cil meeting.

He added: “My ex­pe­ri­ence is that peo­ple are all pretty much in favour of us ex­plor­ing op­tions for we­b­cast­ing coun­cil meet­ings as a low-cost way to im­prove the demo­cratic process.”

Coun­cil leader Scott Farmer said: “Per­son­ally I’m in favour of such a move but I’m happy to take com­ments into ac­count when look­ing at this mat­ter.

“Over the past year of­fi­cers have been in­ves­ti­gat­ing dif­fer­ent op­tions and meth­ods of record­ing and broad­cast­ing of meet­ings, in­clud­ing we­b­cast­ing, in or­der to al­low elected mem­bers to de­cide whether this is some­thing they feel is worth pur­su­ing.

“There are a num­ber of po­ten­tial ben­e­fits in­clud­ing en­cour­ag­ing en­gage­ment and in­ter­est in the coun­cil’s de­ci­sion-mak­ing process and in­creas­ing the trans­parency and open­ness of that process by al­low­ing all mem­bers of the pub­lic the op­por­tu­nity to view meet­ings ei­ther live or at a time of their choos­ing.

“How­ever, it is ac­knowl­edged there would be a cost associated with the ini­tial in­stal­la­tion and on­go­ing oper­a­tion of we­b­cast­ing, which must be care­fully con­sid­ered given the sig­nif­i­cant fi­nan­cial chal­lenges be­ing faced by the coun­cil.”

He said an over­view of dif­fer­ent op­tions and associated costs had been dis­cussed at meet­ings of the po­lit­i­cal groups’ sec­re­taries. They have been asked to gauge the views of their groups.

If there is sup­port in prin­ci­ple a re­port would be brought to a fu­ture com­mit­tee or coun­cil meeting.

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