The agreement of such a Protocol will of course mean that I can end my campaign to allow the public to record meetings and that expensive and unnecessary investigations and hearings into my undercover filming can be stopped.
Most importantly of all the adoption of this Protocol will mark a major step on the journey of TDC becoming more open transparent and accountable to local people. Just like the Independent Members of the Council's Standards Committee would have wanted before they were shamefully forced to resign
Thanet Council Draft Recording Protocol
1. Recording and reporting of meetings of Council and Committee
The Council strives to be open and transparent in the conduct of all its business. As part of this commitment the Council welcomes and encourages, filming photography, audio recording, tweeting, and text messaging and live blogging of all Council and Committee meetings.
The Council encourages the broadcasting of any recording of its proceeding via social media such as Facebook, Twitter, blog sites and website as an accessible and cost effective means of keeping residents informed of the Council’s decision making process
2. Procedures and facilities for recording Council and Committee meetings
Anyone, including elected members, will be entitled to film take photographs, make audio recordings, tweet, text message or live blog during any Council or Committee meeting.
Anyone wishing to film photograph or make audio recordings of Council or Committee meetings must advise the Chair of the meeting of their intention to do so before the meeting starts.
There is a presumption that in all but a minority of cases, permission to film, photograph or make audio recordings of Council or Committee meetings will be granted.
The Council will, where possible, make available space for the reporting and recording of its meetings including access to Wi-Fi connections, electrical charging points, space for tripods and laptop computers.
3. Restrictions on the reporting and recording of Council and Committee meetings.
If permission to film, photograph or audio record a meeting of the Council or Committee is granted the Chair of the meeting will ask any members of the public present, who does not wish to be filmed, photographed or audio-recorded, to identify themselves. The person (s) making such recordings will be instructed by the Chair of the meeting to excluded such members of the public from the recording. Failure to comply with such an instruction could lead to exclusion from the meeting.
Filming, photography, audio recording, tweeting, text messaging and live blogging will be conducted without disruption to members of the public, council officers or councillors in attendance at the meeting.
The Chair of the meeting has the authority to order anyone filming, taking photographs making audio recordings, tweeting, text messaging or live blogging to leave the meeting is they cause disruption to others.