Unfortunately due to holidays we didn’t actually have anyone at the most recent Whitwell Parish Council meeting, which is unfortunate as from speaking to those that did attend it was a very entertaining meeting – even though it did go on till 10PM. What follows is in no way comprehensive and is based on speaking with members of the public who were in attendance.
Recording of Meetings
Unfortunately our proposal to record meetings was rejected as some councillors feared that such recordings could be used in a sound-bite fashion to make them look bad, and that if people wanted to hear the full meetings then they should attend them in person (which in an ideal world we would love to see happen). Whilst this is true on both counts we had at the previous meeting assured the council we would provide them with full copies of all recordings as taken and we would be placing the recordings online in an unedited fashion (with the exception of making any adjustments to make them audible/clearer). We were also quite willing (and still are) to provide binding written assurances of such – our intention is not to make anyone look bad, but to report things as they are and without costing the Parish Council (and thus rate payers) any money.
Also whilst people can attend in person, not everyone has 3 hours to spare of an evening – especially if they don’t get home until 6PM – this is one of the main reasons (other than providing more detailed reporting of events) that we wished to record the meetings, so that people could skip straight to the items on the agenda they were interested in without having to be sat there for hours at a time waiting for it to come up.
We are obviously disappointed with this stance, but heartened that 3 councillors were in favour of such recordings taking place, and we will be continuing to persue the matter – in the meantime we will most likely be sending someone along who can take detailed shorthand minutes instead. One way or another we will bring you more detailed reporting of Parish Council meetings.
We’re also told that there was extensive heated debate between both Parish Councillors and District Council with Duncan Kerr on a number of issues – Hopefully we’ll have some more information on this at a later date when we’ve had chance to catch up with people that attended.