Since July 2012 I’ve been requesting permission to record Waverley Local Area Committee meetings.
On 16th January I sent a request to Cllr Pat Frost, Chairman of Surrey County Council’s Waverley Local Area Committee, to record, live tweet and take photos during the Haslemere parking item in today’s agenda.
As I had had no reply, I sent a further e-mail on Tuesday saying:
I note I have had no response from you to my e-mail below …
In case you are still deliberating this issue, I would like to share this link with that I found via google about recording council meetings: http://wrangl.com/filming-council-meetings.
Separately, I would like to inform you that I have registered to attend the Prospective Councillors’ Open Afternoon on 4 February 2013. I am one of several residents contemplating standing as an independent candidate for Haslemere in the May county council elections. If you are going to be there, it would be lovely to meet you and hopefully other members of the Waverley LAC in person as I have many questions to ask.
This morning I received a reply from Councillor Pat Frost:
I am sorry not to have replied sooner to your request. May I refer you to the Guidance* published on page iv of the agenda papers from which you will note that any activities are at the chairman’s discretion.
I have considered your request very carefully and have decided that whilst it would be inappropriate for tweeting or photography to take place, I am prepared to ask members and officcers if they would be happy for you to record the item 7 debate.
GUIDANCE ON USE OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (IT) AND SOCIAL
MEDIA AND ON THE RECORDING OF MEETINGS
Those wishing to report the proceedings at the meeting will be afforded reasonable
facilities for doing so; however, there is no legal requirement to enable audio or
video recordings or use of IT and social media during the meeting. The final
decision on whether a member of the public or press may undertake these
activities is a matter for the Chairman’s discretion.
All mobile devices (mobile phones, BlackBerries, etc) should be switched off or
placed in silent mode during the meeting to prevent interruptions and interference
with any Public Address (PA) or Induction Loop systems. Those attending for the
purpose of reporting on the meeting may use mobile devices in silent mode to send
electronic messages about the progress of the public parts of the meeting. This is
subject to no interruptions, distractions or interference with any PA or Induction
Loop systems being caused. The Chairman may ask for mobile devices to be
switched off in these circumstances.
Any requests to record all or part of the meeting must be made in writing, setting
out the parts of the meeting, purpose and proposed use of the recording, to the
Chairman prior to the start of the meeting. In considering requests to record the
meeting, the Chairman will take into consideration the impact on other members of
the public in attendance. The Chairman may inform the committee and any public
present at the start of the meeting about a proposed recording, the reasons and
purpose for it and ask if there are any objections. The Chairman will consider any
objections along with any other relevant factors before making a decision. The
Chairman’s decision will be final, but s/he may ask for recordings to be ceased in
the event that they become a distraction to the conduct of the meeting.