Plan to live stream Redbridge Council meetings online put on ice

A proposed trial which could have paved the way for the permanent broadcasting of council meetings online has been abandoned at the final hurdle because it is “not a pressing issue”.

Councillors looked all set to agree to putting council chamber exchanges on the internet for the first time ever as part of an experiment.

But a Labour Party motion calling on the plans to be scrapped was accepted by the majority of councillors at Thursday’s full council meeting in Redbridge Town Hall, High Road, Ilford.

Labour deputy leader Cllr Wes Streeting, who put forward the motion, said: “I’m an avid watch of BBC Parliament, which probably says something about my social life, but the reality is I would find it hard to knock on the doors in Chadwell and say, ‘your services are being cut, but don’t worry, you can watch us cutting these services on Redbridge i’.”

As the Recorder reported last month, broadcasting council meetings would have cost between �16,000-18,000 a year, with an external provider helping to stream debates live.

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But all sides of the chamber agreed it was not the right time to plug in the cameras.

Cllr Streeting added: “We have no objection to the idea of broadcasting council meetings in principle.

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“But there are lots of things we would probably like to do, but there are only certain things we have to do.”

Forty-eight of the 59 voting councillors agreed with Labour’s motion to put on ice plans to put council chamber meetings on the internet, with six members voting against the motion and five abstaining.

Meanwhile, Liberal Democrat group leader and council deputy leader Cllr Ian Bond said the issue of members of the public recording debates with their own devices was an important one “which affects every meeting of the council”.

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