Following this week’s announcement by the Government that it is to introduce a new law to allow the filming of council meetings, Cornwall Council leader John Pollard says the authority has already approved a new broadcasting code which allows members of the public and the press to report, blog, tweet and film from its public meetings.
Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles has confirmed that legislation which gives local residents, bloggers and journalists the legal right to film and report council meetings will be included in the Local Audit and Accountability Bill which is to be debated by MPs next week.
Pollard said: “Some councils have been criticised for failing to open up their meetings and banning local people and the press from recording, blogging and tweeting at Council meetings. We are certainly not doing this in Cornwall where we are trying to be as open and transparent as possible.
“We already webcast meetings of the full Council, the Cabinet and Strategic Planning and I hope that opening up all our public meetings to be filmed and recorded will help us to highlight more of the good work we are doing.
“I am delighted that we appear to ahead of the game here in Cornwall!”
Under the Council’s previous code, broadcasters were asked to give at least 48 hours notice if they wanted to film a meeting of the full Council.
The new code, which was approved by members at last week’s meeting following a recommendation from the Council’s constitution and governance committee, allows both members of the public and the media to film, record, blog or tweet from any meeting which is open to the public, without any prior notice.