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Filming at Keighley Town Council meetings moves a step closer
9:50am Friday 6th September 2013 in News
Keighley Town Council has moved a step closer to allowing its meetings to be filmed.
Councillors agreed to two recommendations - one just “in principle” - during a heated meeting at the town hall last night.
They agreed that the council should look into making arrangements to film its meetings professionally, which was recommendation one.
They agreed in principle the second one, which was that members of the public wishing to film the meeting should get the council’s permission seven days in advance and then abide by filming protocols, which have yet to be confirmed.
Councillors agreed that public filming could take place but insisted protocols be put in place and rubber-stamped before a final decision.
The resolutions were proposed by the council's policies and governance committee, and came in the wake of a dispute which saw 11 members of the public removed from a council meeting by police officers.
They were escorted out of the July full meeting after refusing to stop filming the proceedings. They want meetings filmed in the interest of transparency.
Last night, a petition containing 1,587 signatures was handed in to the council in support of filming being allowed. Seven councillors decided to leave the chamber before the petitioner spoke and handed it in.
Ingrow resident Elizabeth Mitchell was one of the people ejected from the meeting in July. Speaking after last night’s meeting she said: “I think the petition has worked, but we are worried about the protocols and what they will be, because they could be very limiting.”
The meeting heard the views of numerous councillors, the majority of whom were not opposed to meetings being filmed, as long as everyone was clear what the cost of professional filming was and what rules the public had to stick to.
Councillor Margaret Ward said: “I don’t have any objections to filming. I don’t like being on film but it is a public meeting. I have nothing against it.”
Coun Brian Morris said: “I have nothing against filming, but I object to it being done by members of the public.”
Coun Peter Corkindale said whole meetings should be filmed, professionally, “warts and all”.
And Coun George Metcalf said: “I believe in total transparency.”
But Coun John Philip claimed he had bad experiences of similar situations, saying: “I will never want to be filmed.”
Councillors Amjid Ahmed, Javaid Akhtar and Ronald Beale abstained from voting for or against the second recommendation because they wanted to know what the protocols were first.
Councillors will now discuss possible protocols for recommendation two, and the possible cost of professional filming, before making a decision at their next meeting.