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New row over Keighley Town Council filming rules
Keighley Town Council’s newly approved protocols governing how the public can film its meetings has failed to resolve a protracted dispute.
An evening meeting of the council’s civic centre committee was abandoned after members of the public began filming proceedings without following the guidelines.
Elizabeth Mitchell, of protest group Cave Town Council, was among a group of 12 residents, some of whom tried to film the meeting on October 15.
She said they were told they could not film because they had not given the required three days’ notice.
But Mrs Mitchell, of Ingrow, argues the committee meeting’s date had been switched from October 14 to October 15 without the public being informed.
Commenting after the abandoned meeting, civic centre committee chairman, Councillor Peter Corkindale, said two members of the public had prevented the council from conducting its lawful business.
“They stated that despite being aware of the protocols, they rejected them and intended to film,” he said.
“They claimed that because the meeting had been unavoidably moved from October 14, it prevented them giving the requisite three days’ notice. How having an extra day caused them that problem is beyond me. No doubt they’ll claim it wasn’t published soon enough, though it was placed on the council web page on October 9.”
Filming protocols agreed by the council earlier this month also add filming must not be intended to cause embarrassment or ridicule, and that individual councillors or members of the public can decline to be filmed.
But Mrs Mitchell said: “Last Tuesday was proof of why those protocols cannot work. Unbeknown to the public, the meeting had been rescheduled to October 15.
“When Councillor Corkindale said if we gave three days’ notice we would be allowed to film, another councillor added ‘if the committee agrees’. So presumably one could give three days’ notice and the committee could still say ‘no’.”
Coun Corkindale responded: “On the question of transparency, any member of the public is welcome to any and every council meeting. Providing they give three days’ notice, they can also film.
“This campaign by Cave Town against the town council is actually not about transparency. It is about anarchy by a small group of unelected people who have stated on social networking sites they intend to destroy the town council.”
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