Cameras on course for Redbridge council chamber
An “interesting” plan to broadcast council meetings was welcomed by cabinet members, but concerns were raised about cost.
The proposal explores the possibility of webcasting meetings held in the council chamber at Redbridge Town Hall in High Road, Ilford, which would make them available to be watched live on the internet or after they have taken place.
Speaking at a cabinet meeting on Thursday council leader Cllr Keith Prince said: “This is an interesting proposal and we want to roll out democracy as much as we can.
“There are of course certain issues to be addressed in getting there and I would like to look at it in more depth.
“Cost is something that we must consider and we have to ask ourselves if this would be the best use of resources.”
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Cllr Nick Hayes agreed the idea of making council proceedings available for anyone was positive but insisted it has to be delivered in a cost effective way.
Seven options have been drawn up by researchers to implement the plan which have varying set up and running costs.
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One of them is provided by company Public-i which has developed a system simple enough for officers to operate themselves which would cost up to �20,000 a year.
The most expensive involves the purchasing of �20,000 of equipment and a possible �25,000 for lighting upgrades.
There would be an additional �513 charge per meeting if camera operators were employed.
The most suitable option will be chosen by the council’s overview committee and presented at the next cabinet meeting on July 12.
Labour leader Cllr Bob Littlewood said: “Democracy does cost money but that has got to be weighed against the benefits and through Redbridge i we have means of promoting this to make it worthwhile.
“In places like Camden there are people who watch council meetings on their computers and I think it would be a good thing.”