In February 2011, Bob Neill MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government wrote to all Council Leaders and Monitoring Officers (http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/localgovernment/pdf/1850773.pdf)
His opening paragraph:
As part of the Government’s transparency drive I want to highlight the importance of your council giving citizens the opportunity to access and experience their local democracy using modern communication methods. It is essential to a healthy democracy that citizens everywhere are able to feel that their council welcomes them to observe local decision-making and through modern media tools keep others informed as to what their council is doing. The mainstream media also needs to be free to provide stronger local accountability by being able to film and record in meetings without obstruction
In addition, Eric Pickles said in August 2012, (http://www.communities.gov.uk/news/corporate/2204576):
Every decision a council takes has a major impact on the lives of local people so it is crucial that whenever it takes a significant decision about local budgets that affect local communities whether it is in a full council meeting or in a unheard of sub-committee it has got to be taken in the full glare of all the press and any of the public.
Since July 2012, as the local blogger for haslemereparking.com, I have been communicating with Surrey County Council asking for permission to record the parking items of the Waverley Local Area Committee meetings.
I have been informed that my request is being considered by Councillor Pat Frost, Chairman of the Local Area Committee (Waverley). I will be given a decision on this matter before the December 2012 SCC Waverley Local Area Committee meeting.