News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

Flintshire Council looks set to continue with webcasting of meetings

Flintshire Council looks set to continue broadcasting the most important meetings in its calendar to members of the public.

Since 2015, residents have been able to watch both planning and full council meetings live from County Hall in Mold via webcast.

Politicians are now being recommended to carry on with the arrangement in order to allow people to see decisions being made.

It comes as figures show the number of viewers the authority’s meetings attracted in the last two years was 7,141, which is an average of 178 per meeting.

The cheapest option available to the authority is to pay for a five-year contract up front at a cost of just over £55,000.

In a report, Cllr Billy Mullin, cabinet member for corporate management and assets said:

“Following a number of reports submitted to constitution committee, and a recommendation to cabinet, it was resolved in April 2015 that webcasting would be introduced at Flintshire for those meetings which were deemed to be of greatest public interest, which was planning committee and county council.

“A procurement exercise commenced and a contract was awarded to Public-i towards the end of 2015.

“That contract is coming to an end and if supported by members a new procurement exercise will be undertaken.

“All six North Wales authorities use the same webcasting system as Flintshire.

“It is considered that if webcasting at Flintshire was to cease, this would be seen as a retrograde step for the authority.”

Cllr Mullins said that viewing figures for each meeting can vary depending on the level of public interest in what’s on the agenda.

The statistics range of a low of 69 viewers for a full council meeting in November 2016 to 412 for planning committee last September.

Flintshire’s arrangement with Public-i is that all webcasts are archived indefinitely.

It has allowed officers to reduce the size of the minutes for meetings and use the webcast archive as the full record instead.

The proposals will be discussed by members of the authority’s constitution and democratic services committee on Thursday.

By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).

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