Unrestricted Filming at Cornwall Council Meetings

Yesterday, the entire membership of Cornwall Council approved unrestrictive filming – including blogging and tweeting – of council meetings which are open to the public.

Previously, the council did allow filming, but required 48 hours notice. Now there is no requirement for any notice. There is still one rule to filming. That is you must not cause disturbance to the meeting while filming. I think this is only right and I am sure people will respect this rule.

I very much welcome this step forward to make our meetings as open as possible. The myth is Cornwall Council is a closed shop. It is not. In fact it is one of the most open and transparent councils. As we webcast many of our primary meetings; and now allow filming, blogging and tweeting without restriction.

Cornwall Council should be congratulated for this forward thinking approach.

8 comments

  • Brian ARTHUR

    As an objector to the incinerator I can absolutely assure anyone who reads this that CC is not open and honest when it comes to an issue that CC is determined to drive through.
    We wanted to record a WDAP meeting after Curry refused a webcast and were warned by Double not to do it….so much for openness and honesty.

  • Gill Martin

    I believe the point Councillor Andrew Wallis is trying to make, is that Cornwall Council has moved forward, and by now allowing filming, tweeting, blogging by any individual at the meetings, Cornwall Council is striving to be more than it ever has been, open and transparent.
    Since May this year the new council has been in place and in addition to many new Councillors, re elected Councillors now hold different roles. I think all Cornwall Councillors should be given a fair chance within their roles.

  • Andrew Wallis

    Dear Brian,

    I was at that meeting too. It should have been webcast. However the previous Administration didn’t see it that way.

    I must point out, there is a different Administration and we aim to make it as open as we can legally.

  • Phillip

    Gill, you don’t think 6 months is long enough then to prove themselves on the council in their positions? Don’t you think Andrew’s had long enough?,,, he’s not a new Cllr. Nothing has changed, the council still wastes money and is not open and transparent about it.

  • Gill Martin

    Philip, I believe that six months is not long enough for the administrative set up within the council, to establish a budget and proceed to a point of changeable recognition.

    Councillor Andrew Wallis may have held a Cornwall Councillor position for many years, however, he has only held responsibilities attached to being a member of the cabinet since May.

    Personally I do not think he is obliged to prove anything to anyone, he fulfils his role with commitment, hard work and integrity, and currently holds a 100% attendence record, what more can one ask for from a Councillor.

  • Phillip

    Gill I think you are deluded if you really believe that the council will be anymore transparent and open after six months, a year or even two years. They don’t film Cllrs allowances/expenses.

  • Andrew Wallis

    Philip,

    You are right, the council does not film allowances. As there would be nothing to film. However, the council publishes a detailed list of allowances and mileage claims each year. These are currently available on the Council website.

    Furthermore, there are no expenses. You can claim for mileage for official meetings, and from my experience many pay out far more out of their own pocket in mileage than claim.

    Members can also claim for subsistence if they are out of county for a long period of time.

    Btw, the basic Councillor allowance is £12,224 per year. Which is taxed and subject to NI.

    Again the rules are available online. You only have to look.

  • Gill Martin

    Philip, it is of course your prerogative to think what you like, however, I am not deluded. I believe the council have put measures into place which offer transparency in excess of most local councils and the past administration.

    How quite you expected anyone to film allowances, intrigues me. As Councillor Andrew Wallis has already stated, all relevant information is available on the Cornwall Council website, you have the advantage of being able to reference this, whereas no member of the public has the advantage of being able to easily reference information on your personal wages, pension or benefits whichever is applicable. In addition to which, you get to see the results that are achieved by a Councillors work, who knows what you may or may not achieve I wonder.

    I think you will find Councillors are very good value for money, additionally, they are democratically voted in, with some such as Councillor Andrew Wallis being voted in repetitively, surely that must tell you something positive.

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