Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Council backs webcam move

Wrexham Council's executive board voted 5-4 to consider allowing the public to view council meetings on their computers.

Plaid Cymru Councillor Carrie Harper called for web cameras to be installed to broadcast some council meetings online. The report presented to the Executive Board gave the go ahead for officers to continue with their research into the proposed new project.

Cllr Harper, councillor for Queensway, said: "I have been working with officers over the last 12 months to get these web cams installed and was delighted by the positive reception the idea received from the majority of lead members.

"I very much hope the project will progress in the near future. If we are to move into the 21st century as a council then we need to be more pro-active in engaging with local people and ensuring the democratic process is more open and transparent.

"Many council meetings are held in the afternoon when many people are unable to attend. Having the meetings online would allow the public access to see what decisions are being taken by their representatives on their behalf."

Cllr Harper added: "The next stage will involve a detailed look at the costs involved and also which meetings we may be able to broadcast. I understand the concerns expressed by some members regarding spending money on new projects considering the Con-Dem coalition government cuts we will be facing in the coming years, although I strongly feel that this situation makes it even more vital that local people are able to see how and why decisions are being made.

"Along with more than 50 local authorities across the UK, both the Welsh Assembly and Cardiff Council are already using this technology, I would be delighted to see Wrecsam leading the way here in North Wales."

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