Plans to put Norfolk County Council meetings online

Council meetings in Norfolk could be recorded and broadcast online as part of proposals to be considered next week.

Norfolk County Council’s ruling cabinet is to consider a recommen-dation for the authority’s full council meetings to be recorded and placed online as part of a six-month pilot scheme.

Communities secretary Eric Pickles has written to all councils suggesting that opening local open government up to new media will improve public scrutiny of decision-making.

Some councils including Canterbury and Sheffield are already looking at the idea and in May Green councillor Jennifer Toms also asked the authority to consider the idea.

A report to be considered on Monday, notes that the costs would be minimal because the council is due to install a new microphone system in the council chamber which will have the software and hardware needed.

These could then be placed unedited on the council’s website at the same time as the minutes of the meeting.

“It would be reasonable to conclude that initiatives such as this will soon become a standard feature for many councils who are seeking to involve local people in decision making,” the report said.

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The move comes as Green councillors in Norwich recently asked whether City Hall would welcome members of the public filming council meetings.