Author Topic: The Recording of Meetings to be discussed at Cabinet March 20th  (Read 10782 times)

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Offline Richard Symonds

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https://ww5.swindon.gov.uk/moderngov/mgConvert2PDF.aspx?ID=5456&T=10

I wonder if this was prompted by my filming of the budget debate?

Agenda Item 21

Recording and Broadcasting Full Council Meetings
Motion at Council

Cabinet Date: 20th March 2013

Further information on the subject of this report can be obtained from Iain Tucker, Direct
Dial (01793) 463605, itucker@swindon.gov.uk.

Author: Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Sustainability
 Chief Executive, Director of Law and Democratic Services

Wards: All
Locality Affected: All
Parishes Affected: All

1. Purpose and Reasons
1.1 At the meeting of Full Council held on 20th December 2012, the following
amended motion was agreed (Minute 82 of the Council refers):
“This Council supports the continued development of a more open, transparent
and accountable politics and press. This Council notes that:
- Full Council in April 2011 passed a motion requesting the Chief Executive
provides a report to Cabinet on the feasibility of recording and broadcasting
Council Meetings via the Council's web site.
- The Labour party request for videoing of Full Council Meetings to commence
from the 2013 Annual Council Meeting
- This Council requests that a Cabinet report is published within three months
investigating the cost and feasibility of fulfilling this request.”
1.2 This report sets out an analysis of a range of options available to the Council to
record and broadcast Full Council meetings. The options range from a
completely free option to options with a more significant cost to the Council,
involving hosting webcasts on the Council’s website, to even more
comprehensive packages in the region of £100,000.
2. Recommendations
Cabinet is recommended to:
2.1 Note the contents of the report, and advise the Chief Executive of the options, if
any, it would wish to see the officers investigate further.
2.2 Note that the cost of recording and broadcasting Full Council meetings with the
market leading solution used by 70 other local authorities would be over £1000
per meeting.
2.3 Note that the Council has never refused a request by the media or a resident to
record a meeting, and,

Agenda Item 21

Page 431

Recording and Broadcasting Full Council Meetings
Motion at Council

Cabinet Date: 20th March 2013

Further information on the subject of this report can be obtained from Iain Tucker, Direct
Dial (01793) 463605, itucker@swindon.gov.uk.

2.4 Requests that the Director of Law & Democratic Services works with the
Corporate Governance Working Party on a presumption in favour of recording
meetings by residents, and residents who do record meetings have the same
access to the Full Council Chamber as the media,.
2.5 Requests that the Head of Communications includes social media engagement
by Councillors and residents during Full Council meetings as part of the new
Digital Strategy
2.6 Advise the Council of the contents of this report and the Cabinet’s decision.
3. Detail
Background
3.1 The Council at its meeting on 20th December 2012 requested that the Chief
Executive produce a report for the Cabinet that investigated (a) the feasibility of
recording and broadcasting Council Meetings via the Council's web site and (b)
videoing of Full Council Meetings to commence from the 2013 Annual Council
Meeting. This Motion was a follow up to a similar Motion considered by the
Council in April 2011 (Minute 136, of the Council 2011/12 refers).
3.2 The report takes into account views arising when the motion was debated at the
Council meeting, which highlighted that this report should identify a range of
possibilities and highlight the likely different costs that would apply depending on
the option to be pursued.
3.3 Research for this report was undertaken by way of review of published sources
of information about the recording and broadcasting of local authority meetings,
discussions with colleagues in other relevant local authorities, meetings with
commercial providers of systems enabling the broadcasting / webcasting of
meetings, local community radio and TV providers, relevant Council officers, and
Councillors who have expressed an interest in the recording and broadcasting of
meetings.
3.4 It should be noted that no preferred option is put forward at this stage and the
majority of the costs highlighted are general estimates and the view of likely
costs provided by the organisations involved. Any preferred option would need to
be the subject to a more detailed investigation and report before the Council
reached a decision to proceed.
3.5 There is currently no budget provision to meet any of the financial costs
associated with the introduction of the options outlined in the report. No
amendment was proposed to at the Council’s Budget setting meeting on 21st
February 2013 that might have provided funding for this work.

Page 432

Recording and Broadcasting Full Council Meetings
Motion at Council

Cabinet Date: 20th March 2013

Further information on the subject of this report can be obtained from Iain Tucker, Direct
Dial (01793) 463605, itucker@swindon.gov.uk.

3.6 All the options outlined in this report involve staff costs to some degree. These
could be significant in those options that require one or more members of staff to
attend Council meetings.
Webcasting / Broadcasting of Video
3.7 Many professional broadcasting / webcasting systems have been developed to
be simple and robust enough for the Council to operate itself.
3.8 The majority of councils that “webcast” meetings use an outside provider to
“host” their broadcasting. Public-I is the market leader, with over 70 local
authorities and similar organisations using their services.
3.9 The remote hosting of the broadcasting service would remove much of the need
for a council to use its own ICT resources (and associated costs). However, it is
clear that it would be important to establish a clear specification of the Council’s
exact requirements before entering into such an arrangement.
3.10 In particular it is vital that ownership of the contractual arrangements is
determined. Where a council utilises an outside party to provide a service, the
council must be able to ensure that a value for money assessment is undertaken
before entering into a contractual arrangement.
3.11 There are a number of options available to the Council, some professional
utilising “webcasting” technology, some using volunteers or Council staff and less
sophisticated recording methods. These are set out in the report,
 Who Watches Webcasts?
3.12 A recent research report evaluating webcasting estimated that viewers spend on
average 9 minutes at a time viewing. This may correlate with the typical length of
a single item on an agenda and supports the belief that users of the service “tune
in“ only when there is an item being discussed that interests them. Very rarely
would a viewer watch the whole webcast.
3.13 To enable a viewer to tune in for a particular item, so called “chapter points”
would need to be inserted during the webcast so that viewers may find an item of
interest. The options supplied by Media on Demand (Option 10) and Public-i
(Option 11) support this feature. This would also necessitate a member of staff
inserting the chapter points at Council meetings as debates progressed and
items were concluded.
 Who is watched on a Webcast?
3.14 If the public are to be recorded, for example in asking a public question or
presenting a petition, then a balance has to be found between the open and

Page 433

Recording and Broadcasting Full Council Meetings
Motion at Council

Cabinet Date: 20th March 2013

Further information on the subject of this report can be obtained from Iain Tucker, Direct
Dial (01793) 463605, itucker@swindon.gov.uk.

transparent nature of the recording of a public council meeting and legitimate
privacy issues of the individual.
3.15 If this option was to be pursued of recording all proceedings of a meeting then
the Council would need, in addition to whichever option it wished to pursue, to
give consideration to producing a “Charter” or “Protocol”. Such a document
would set out clearly the process of recording, the process for handling any
inflammatory statements, and of individuals’ rights to privacy should they not
want to be recorded.
3.16 If a recorded video was “edited” before being posted, then the Council would
need to establish guidelines on the editing process such as: who would make the
decision on what was edited out; would the whole meeting be recorded or just
the decisions, and would public questions and / or petitioners’ statements be
included.
Considerations for recording/webcasting/streaming of meetings
3.17 The current arrangement is that, subject to the agreement of the Council meeting
or the Committee concerned, members of the public may record meetings. The
Council has, as far as its known, never refused a request to record a meeting. As
an alternative to recording its own meetings, the Council could decide to formally
allow any recordings by members of the public.
Demand from residents.
3.18 There has been one request from a resident to record a meeting in the last 12
months.
Topical Search
3.19 Recording of a 3 to 4 hour full council meeting requires a viewer to watch the
whole programme to find out what an individual Councillor said on an agenda
item.
3.20 The ability to search and find out discussions on any topic is only possible
through splitting the video into chapters and inclusion of descriptive text or a
transcript.
Cost effectiveness
3.21 There are on average ten Full Council meetings, so for every £1000 an option is
estimated to costs is equivalent to £100 cost per meeting. There a further ten
Cabinet meetings and at least as many Scrutiny meetings all of which are part of
the Council’s decision making process and which would incur further costs if they
were to be webcast.

Page 434

Recording and Broadcasting Full Council Meetings
Motion at Council

Cabinet Date: 20th March 2013

Further information on the subject of this report can be obtained from Iain Tucker, Direct
Dial (01793) 463605, itucker@swindon.gov.uk.

3.22 London Borough of Redbridge undertook a pilot webcasting project that has
subsequently been halted due to resource pressures. The Deputy Leader was
quoted in the local media as saying “I would find it hard to knock on doors and
say, ‘your services are being cut, but don’t worry, you can watch us cutting these
services on Redbridge i’.
3.23 In 2011, Cambridge City Council decided not to film its own meetings; however,
Councillors established a “protocol” to allow anyone to record proceedings. The
protocol was viewed necessary following a complaint referred to the Independent
Complaints Investigator about privacy issues.
3.24 London Borough of Islington was one of only a few Councils that ran its own web
streaming service. It ran a pilot project to broadcast meetings of the full Council
on the Council’s website for a trial period (January to June 2009) and then
continued the service. However, due to financial and service pressures, the
Council has ceased the broadcasting of meetings in 2011.
Engagement
3.25 The eParticipate Trans-European Network for Democratic Renewal and
Engagement published a study in 2005 that found that one of the reasons that
the public don’t engage with local politics is that they don’t believe that they will
have any effect on the process. They see the Local Authorities as a ‘faceless’
bureaucracy and feel they have little chance of effecting or changing it.
3.26 The use of webcasts (broadcasts of video) to address this issue of trust was the
main underpinning of the eParticipate project. The study concluded that “the
advantages of unedited video over other communication channels are numerous:
It enables the viewer to see the source material directly rather than through a
filter or an author or editor. This in and of itself has a big impact on trust. It
associates the actual actors in the process – usually the politicians with the
content. This makes the content more believable and also ‘humanizes’ the
process – both outcomes building trust. By identifying the actual actors the
individual accountability is increased. It provides an immediacy of
communication. Viewers understand that the process is live and happening as
they view it rather than being made up post hoc. The transparency of video
makes it possible for the public to see the individual actors in the democratic
process – perhaps for the first time. This increases their belief in the
accountability of the democratic process: The use of webcasting clearly
increases the openness and accountability of that process.”.
 Social Media
3.27 With the developments in social media in recent years, webcasting does not
accurately represent up to date thinking on how best to engage with the public.

Page 435

Recording and Broadcasting Full Council Meetings
Motion at Council

Cabinet Date: 20th March 2013

Further information on the subject of this report can be obtained from Iain Tucker, Direct
Dial (01793) 463605, itucker@swindon.gov.uk.
 
Social media, unlike webcasting, is participatory and provides a mechanism for
members of the public to participate, for example, this Council’s ‘Big
Conversation’.
3.28 This Council has a Twitter feed with 2,641 followers and a Facebook page.
These have the likely potential to reach a far wider audience than webcasting of
meetings will be able to.
3.29 At Christmas 2012, the Council produced a short film to promote recycling and
changes to rubbish collections. It was heavily promoted on the front page of the
Council’s website and also featured on the popular waste and recycling pages.
Over 3 weeks it attracted 850 views, which was considered quite successful
albeit that the Borough has over 200,000 residents. This was a carefully crafted
and produced film with a high topical interest. The film lasted four minutes.
3.30 Some Council meetings can last 3 to 4 hours. The number of people who will
watch a three-hour Council meeting is likely to be very limited and considerably
less than those interested in Christmas waste collection information. Our own
research highlighted an annual awards ceremony celebrating the work of police
officers that attracted 15 viewers, most of whom were family members who could
not attend the ceremony.
3.31 It appears likely that whatever the solution Councillors eventually choose they will
need to manage their expectations of the amount of viewers that Council
meetings could attract and weigh this against the cost of providing the hosted
Broadcast / webcast service.
3.32 There is also the possibility of a knock-on effect of broadcasting resulting in
Council meetings having less members of the public in attendance; instead
currently active citizens who attend meetings may choose to stay home and
watch the webcast either “live” or at a later date.
Reputational risk
3.33 A number of Local Authorities, including Hampshire County Council, Stoke City
Council, and Leicester City Council, have been criticized in the local and national
press for “wasting taxpayers money” for the costs of their webcasting /
broadcasting solutions in relation to the small number of viewers. In one
instance, a webcast by Stoke City Council attracted 1 (one) viewer. Other
Councils have also been criticized for editing of their webcasts to remove
possible defamatory remarks.
3.34 Hounslow was the first London Borough to webcast its meetings and has recently
taken the decision to stop this as a budget saving measure. The annual cost was
in the region of £50,000 per year, which covered extra staff costs to operate the
equipment at and post the meetings as well as the extra training costs for when

Page 436

Recording and Broadcasting Full Council Meetings
Motion at Council

Cabinet Date: 20th March 2013
 
Further information on the subject of this report can be obtained from Iain Tucker, Direct
Dial (01793) 463605, itucker@swindon.gov.uk.

there were technical / software updates or new staff but excluded the initial set
up costs.
3.35 LB Hounslow has indicated that there was no evidence of any significant
backlash from the public or media for removing the service. The Council found
that most viewers were officers, councillors or family members of the same and
there was no increase in attendance at meetings
.
Other Council approaches
3.36 Cornwall Unitary and Epping Forest District Councils provide good examples of
the standard that can be achieved. Cornwall’s webcasting is hosted by Public-I.
Their archive of meetings may be viewed at: http://www.cornwall.public-i.tv/core/.
Each of the webcasts has chapter points inserted for each item on the agenda
and for when Councillors speak.
3.37 Coventry City Council was also quoted as a good example of what could be
provided. This Council recently undertook a review of the second year of their
project. They noted that viewing figures had dropped considerably since the first
year. The authority decided to consult the public on continuing the provision.
They have advised us that they had 194 responses, 54 of which were Councillors
or Council officers. Only 26% of respondents had viewed a webcast. Their
webcast pages received 3,974 “hits” during the period March 2011- October
2012. The average length of a visit was 3 minutes 17 seconds which they advise
probably means that few watched the available archived webcasts.
3.38 Plymouth Council have recently begun webcasting (2012) and believe it is
working well. They have set aside a budget of £20,000 per annum to support this
and use external “hosting”.
3.39 Basingstoke and Waverley councils record and post their own streaming.
Alternative approaches
Transcription
3.40 Mysociety.org is running a pilot project asking for volunteers to transcribe Council
meetings broadcast by way of councils using voice recognition software.
Mysociety itself does not offer a transcription service, nor does it produce voice
recognition software. Instead it offers a way of publishing the completed
transcripts to the web.
3.41 Thought is also being given to the “live” broadcast of transcribed proceedings
using voice recognition software.

Page 437

Recording and Broadcasting Full Council Meetings
Motion at Council

Cabinet Date: 20th March 2013

Further information on the subject of this report can be obtained from Iain Tucker, Direct
Dial (01793) 463605, itucker@swindon.gov.uk.

3.42 To pursue a similar approach in Swindon “hardware” to record the audio and
appropriate voice recognition software would need to be acquired. If an
appropriate volunteer could be found to offer the transcription service the output
from the voice recognition software would need to be checked against the
recording for the accuracy of the words used / transcribed. Accurate transcription
could prove to be a very time-intensive process given the length of many Council
meetings and could well run to many hundreds of pages of transcripts. “Live”
transcription would be dependent on the accuracy of the voice recognition
software used and its ability to adjust to different accents and background noise
etc.. The Council should have little problem in publishing transcripts to its own
website using existing software. Live transcription would present similar issues
as those highlighted elsewhere in the report relating to webcasting by way of the
Website.
However, it must remain clear that the transcripts do not take the place of the
Council’s Minutes, which are the formal record of decisions agreed.
Comments of the Head of Communications and Insight.
3.43 It needs to be emphasised that in all of the options there will be a resource
impact on the council in relation to officer time (aside from the costs of the
technical solution) of which there is currently no spare capacity.
Comments of the Head of Information Technology and Strategy.
3.44 Although the possibility of hosting an archive of webcasts / broadcasts on the
Council’s own servers is mentioned in a number of the options set out above, the
Head of Information Technology and Strategy highlights issues to be taken into
account when considering this solution.
3.45 Although it is tempting to think of hosting any recordings of meetings on the
Council’s own servers as being “free” the reality is that there would certainly be a
cost involved. The work would be undertaken by Capita who under its contract
would charge the Council for this service. The Council would have to build a
dedicated site to host the archive. Depending on how many concurrent users
tried to watch the recordings it has the potential to disrupt mission critical Council
services. A separate data line may be needed would could prove cost-prohibitive.
Recording of meetings by the media
3.46 The Council constitution sets out the rules around recording of meetings by the
media, and requires a two-thirds majority of members to vote on refusing any
request. “ Audio and visual recordings of a meeting of the Council, the Cabinet,
Committees and other Council bodies by a recognised media organisations shall
normally be permitted following receipt of a request by the Mayor or Chair of the
meeting. The Mayor or Chair of the meeting shall advise members that the

 
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Recording and Broadcasting Full Council Meetings
Motion at Council

Cabinet Date: 20th March 2013

Further information on the subject of this report can be obtained from Iain Tucker, Direct
Dial (01793) 463605, itucker@swindon.gov.uk.

meeting is being recorded. A request to record a meeting shall only be refused if
the Mayor or Chair of the meeting believes recording would disrupt the meeting
and following a motion to refuse a recording request being passed by a twothirds majority of those members present and voting at the meeting.”
What is Available – The Options
Option 1A – Cost £FREE
3.47 A suggestion arising out of the research for the report was that Councillors could
record portions of the meeting on their iPads or similar devices and upload the
resulting video to an appropriate free public hosting service.
3.48 Whilst this is feasible it should be remembered that iPads and similar devices do
not have an optical-zoom, and any video could look amateurish and not of a
standard appropriate for the formal public representation of the Council.
Option 1B- Cost £FREE
3.49 The Council could enable local residents to record proceedings on their own
equipment and upload the resulting video to an appropriate free public hosting
service.
3.50 The Council could seek a willing member of the public to volunteer to attend all
required meetings and to record proceedings on their own equipment and upload
the resulting video to an appropriate free public hosting service.
3.51 This would have the advantage of being a provision at no cost to the Council.
The disadvantage would be the Council would have no or little real editorial
control over the recording or on the quality of the material uploaded. There would
also be difficulties in ensuring that a “volunteer” or volunteers would be able or
willing to attend all the meetings that the Council wished to have recorded and
broadcast. This could result in a negative view from local residents wishing to be
certain that they would be able to observe all relevant meetings they wished to
view. Research has also indicted that it is believed that more than one camera or
devise would be required to adequately record proceedings in the Borough
Council’s Council Chamber.
3.52 Part of a recent Council meeting was recorded by a single video camera from the
public gallery by a member of public who it is understood hired the equipment at
his own expense. The resulting video is fairly clear, and offers a good picture of
the Mayor and Cabinet, albeit it with no zoom-in function. The sound quality is
patchy, and depending on the Councillor speaking can be hard to hear. The
coverage of non-Cabinet Councillors is poor, and highlights the need for at least
two cameras to cover the whole of the Council Chamber. The video contains

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Recording and Broadcasting Full Council Meetings
Motion at Council

Cabinet Date: 20th March 2013

Further information on the subject of this report can be obtained from Iain Tucker, Direct
Dial (01793) 463605, itucker@swindon.gov.uk.

some closed captions identifying who is speaking, but does not include chapter
points to allow a member of the public to go straight to an item.
Option 2 – Cost £1,000 +
3.53 The Council could buy a portable digital camera and require a member of staff to
attend and record Council meetings. The resulting video could then be hosted on
the Council’s website and/or uploaded to a free public hosting service.
3.54 All organisations and system providers contacted for this report recommended
that at least two cameras should be used to adequately cover all of the
Borough’s Council Chamber. If the Council bought two digital cameras then in
reality it is likely that three members of staff would be required to be involved in
the process and to attend Council meetings; one for each camera, and the third
to decide which camera is ‘live’ and is used for the video, insert chapter marks
etc.
3.55 Should this option be pursued then appropriate training would be needed for this
and adequate resources be provided. It should be noted that uploading a three or
four hour Council meeting to a public hosting service, if an appropriate one could
be found, would be a very time-intensive process for the person involved.
Alternatively, the Council could host the resulting video on its own website.
Staffing and training costs have been excluded from this estimate.
Option 3 – Swindon 105.5 Radio Station: Cost: £800-£1,000 Start up and
£6,000 per year
3.56 Swindon 105.5 is a local community driven volunteer radio station. The
organisation indicated that it could live stream and record an audio only recording
of Council meetings. This option would utilize the existing microphone system in
the Council Chamber. A representative from Swindon 105.5 would attend each
Council meeting to set up equipment and monitor the live stream and recording.
A ‘listen-again’ archive could be kept on either the Council’s or Swindon 105.5’s
website
3.57 Swindon 105.5 has close ties to Swindon TV. It indicated that once the audio
only option was successfully running there may be an option for video (visual) as
well utilising their contacts. There was no indication provided on the “Video” cost.
Options 4 & 5 – Swindon Create Studios
3.58 Swindon Create Studios is an award-winning digital media organisation which
delivers digital arts productions. It is currently part of the Borough Council and
has worked closely with other departments, schools and community
organizations to provide media solutions. Create Studios has suggested the
following two options:

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Recording and Broadcasting Full Council Meetings
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Cabinet Date: 20th March 2013

Further information on the subject of this report can be obtained from Iain Tucker, Direct
Dial (01793) 463605, itucker@swindon.gov.uk.

Option 4 – Swindon Create Studios; Cost £9,484.49 per year or £5,984.49
(without tape archiving)
3.59 To record and livestream with two HDV cameras (with operators) and using the
output of the microphone system already present in the Council Chamber. Backups would be made with tapes in the cameras which would then be edited
together and archived on the Council’s website.
Option 5 – Swindon Create Studios: Cost £4,084.49 per year (dependant on
testing)
3.60 This option utilizes the technology already in the Council Chamber. Using the
standard definition cameras to input into a mixer and then output the audio to a
laptop which could then stream the webcast live. A representative from Create
Studios would attend each meeting to monitor and manage the live feed. The
manual controls for the cameras would need to be moved out of the supply room
at the rear of the Chamber at an additional cost to the Council.
Options 6, 7, 8 and 9 – Swindon Viewpoint: Cost: See each option
3.61 Swindon Viewpoint is a volunteer run Internet television ‘channel’ for Swindon. It
is Britain’s first and longest running public-access television service, and is
notable for being owned by the public. Swindon Viewpoint has suggested the
following four possible options to the Council:
Option 6, Basic. Cost First Year: £750 On-going: £250 per year
3.62 Install basic digital camera as an addition to existing equipment. Train a member
of the Council’s staff to attend each meeting required and record to a “solid state”
device, compress the file and transfer to Swindon Viewpoint, who would upload
the video publishing on its front page at www.swindonviewpoint.com. This option
excludes the Council’s cost in relation to the attendance of an additional member
of staff at all required meetings and the access to the software required to
compress and transfer the relevant recording.
Option 7, Intermediate. Cost First Year £5,750 On-going: £2,750 per year
3.63 Install digital camera and three monitors to upgrade existing equipment. Swindon
Viewpoint staff would attend each meeting and control cameras for accurate
framing and close ups. Swindon Viewpoint would undertake post-production of
the “programme” (without removing actual content) to ‘top and tail’ add titles and
remove any ‘dead space’ and insert “chapter points”.
3.64 Programme would then be published on a dedicated SBC channel of
www.swindonviewpoint.com. Programmes would be archived on Swindon
Viewpoint.

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Recording and Broadcasting Full Council Meetings
Motion at Council

Cabinet Date: 20th March 2013

Further information on the subject of this report can be obtained from Iain Tucker, Direct
Dial (01793) 463605, itucker@swindon.gov.uk.

Option 8, Live streaming and ancillary programming. Cost First Year:
UNKNOWN but circa £66,500. On-going: £47,500 per year
3.65 The Council would fund a full time employee of Swindon Viewpoint to act as a
“Public Service TV Co-ordinator” who would record each meeting supported by
up to three other camera operators working on a per diem basis. Meetings would
be recorded in high definition, visually mixed and simultaneously live webcast. A
follow-up programme would be transmitted with a designated Member in studio
taking questions sent in by the public. The Public Service TV Co-ordinator would
make other public service programmes during the year as designated by the
Council.
Option 9, as option 3 but with full marketing and promotion budget, Cost
First Year: UNKNOWN but circa £96,500. On-going: £71,500 per year
3.66 With options 9 and 10 above, Swindon Viewpoint would work with the Council to
identify all existing resources and avenues that can be deployed and tender the
lowest cost.
Option 10 – Media on Demand (Webcasting Provider) Cost:
A: £16, 230 in the first year (4 cameras) and £6,300 each additional year.
Training: (typical) £1,450
B: £11,440 in the first year (2 cameras) and £5,300 each additional year
Training (typical): £1,450
3.67 Media On Demand offer a flexible webcasting solution, designed to be used by
non-technical staff and includes the ability to view webcasts live, and/or prerecorded.
3.68 It includes a microsite which enables the Council to put relevant information both
from internal and external sources alongside webcasts. Documents associated
with the event can be attached. These include plans, images, agendas, minutes
and presentations.
3.69 The pricing is based on a 12 month hosting period for any individual webcast and
includes live streaming of up to 500 concurrent streams and unlimited availability
of on-demand content.
3.70 This solution integrates with Modern.gov agenda publishing software (which the
Council uses) to ensure maintaining links to committee documentation and
presentation material.
3.71 This Option includes -
3.72 Purchase of Four (or two, dependant on cost) cameras and includes camera
follow allowing the cameras to be controlled by the microphone system

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Recording and Broadcasting Full Council Meetings
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Cabinet Date: 20th March 2013

Further information on the subject of this report can be obtained from Iain Tucker, Direct
Dial (01793) 463605, itucker@swindon.gov.uk.

3.73 Broadcast Control Unit hardware and software for producing live and on-demand
webcasts
3.74 A User Microsite as the web interface for the target audience.
3.75 An Administrators Microsite for the management of the web streaming content.
3.76 Hosting on Media On Demand’s own Content Delivery Network.
3.77 Support services to include training, production, maintenance and consulting.
3.78 Five hours per month hosting.
3.79 The cost for this option does not include cabling for cameras and integration with
any existing audio system which would require a separate company to install.
3.80 A member of staff would be required to attend Council meetings to control the
cameras for optimum results and to upload the video feed. This cost is excluded
from the estimate provided by the company.
Option: 11 - Public-I (Webcasting Provider) Cost: for 3 year contracts: (with
all equipment being leased)
Contract Type Total Cost Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Connect with Public-i Cameras £35,814 £14,383 £10,715 £10,715
Connect without Public-i Cameras £31,855 £12,793 £9,531 £9,531
Connect Social with Public-i Cameras £50,754 £20,383 £15,185 £15,185
Connect Social without Public-i Cameras £46,795 £18,793 £14,001 £14,001
3.81 Public-I are the market leaders in webcasting Council meetings, with over 70
local authorities and similar organisations using their services.
3.82 They have recently undergone a revised site layout and video player design
which works across multiple devices such as mobiles, tablet and browsers,
3.83 Their latest offering places as much emphasis on social media tools as it does on
straightforward webcasting. It has the ability for Councillors to create their own
on-line profiles which will link to whenever they speak at Council meetings, and
the topic they spoke on. It can also link to their Twitter feed if they have one.
3.84 This makes it really simple for members of the public to identify, monitor and
interact with Councillors and find out what they’re really saying and doing on key
local issues. It will provide an accurate record for Members of what they actually
said on an issue by indexing their contribution in every webcast archived.

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Cabinet Date: 20th March 2013

Further information on the subject of this report can be obtained from Iain Tucker, Direct
Dial (01793) 463605, itucker@swindon.gov.uk.
 
3.85 “Connect” offers as an option a Live Chat and a Twitter stream alongside each
other. The live Chat during webcasts provides a live help facility for anyone
watching the webcast as well as a live backchannel for discussion of the issues
being raised. The Live Chat is moderated, and would require a member of
Council staff to be allocated to monitor to ensure that only comments which are
relevant to the webcast are published. The cost of this element is excluded from
the company’s estimate. Relevant Twitter posts can also be published and
archived with the chat, so the mood of both those participating in the webcast as
well as those watching is archived along with the webcast.
3.86 This solution integrates with Modern.gov agenda publishing software (which the
Council uses) to ensure maintaining links to committee documentation and
presentation material.
3.87 There is also the ability to set up an internet forum which members of the public
could register to join and ask questions of the Council. Members of staff would be
needed to moderate this.
3.88 A “Share” feature appears at the bottom of every page to encourage members of
the public to promote the webcast, and an embed facility allows the pubic to
embed the webcast directly on other sites.
3.89 Their premium product “ConnectSocial” allows local authorities to require
members of the public to register an account and log in, and provides the ability
for the Council to erect a “paywall”.
3.90 The cost for this option does not include cabling for cameras and integration with
existing audio system which would require a separate company to install.
3.91 A member of staff would be required to attend Council meetings to control the
cameras for optimum results and to upload the video feed. This cost is again
excluded from the estimate provided,
Summary
3.92 Each option detailed in the report reflects a different price point and a slightly
different way of achieving the same objective.
3.93 The cheapest option is likely to involve the Council editing and posting its own
webcast using local video footage. There is the danger that this would look
amateurish, not reflect well on the reputation of the Council and still requires the
time of an officer to be taken into account.
3.94 The most expensive would result in a high production value product with links to
other forms of social media but at some cost to the Council.

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Recording and Broadcasting Full Council Meetings
Motion at Council

Cabinet Date: 20th March 2013

Further information on the subject of this report can be obtained from Iain Tucker, Direct
Dial (01793) 463605, itucker@swindon.gov.uk.
 
3.95 There would be potentially “hidden costs” relating to all the options through the
requirement for in-house expertise; increased IT and web capacity as well as
additional expenditure for equipment (e.g. cameras and an encoder), and other
IT licenses.
4. Alternative Options
4.1 Alternative options are set out in the report.
4.2 The Council could decide to have a live Twitter feed from Council meetings,
which, except for costs associated with Officer time would be completely free.
4.3 The Council could seek to use its consultation mechanisms to seek the public’s
view on whether they would see the recoding and broadcasting of Council
meetings either “live” or in a recorded form as a good idea, compared to the
costs involved.
5. Implications, Diversity Impact Assessment and Risk Management
Financial and Procurement Implications
5.1 There is currently no budget provision to meet any of the financial costs
associated with the introduction of the options outlined in the report. No
amendment was proposed to at the Council’s Budget setting meeting on 21st
February 2013 that might have provided funding for this work.
5.2 All the options outlined in the report involve staff costs to some degree. These
could be significant in those options that require one or more members of staff to
attend Council meetings.
5.3 The costings in this report should be viewed only as estimates provided by the
organisations concerned. Preferred options would need to be more thoroughly
investigated prior to the Council making any final decision.
5.4 No testing of existing equipment has been carried out. A number of the
companies offered to do this, however they would have charged the Council for
this service and this was not felt appropriate until the views of Members on the
options available was obtained.
5.5 Variable factors affecting broadcasting using the Council’s Website such as IT,
bandwidth used, the number of concurrent users and the number of hours hosted
could significantly affect the final costs for the Council and this could only be
assessed once a preferred option or options for further investigation have been
identified.

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Recording and Broadcasting Full Council Meetings
Motion at Council

Cabinet Date: 20th March 2013

Further information on the subject of this report can be obtained from Iain Tucker, Direct
Dial (01793) 463605, itucker@swindon.gov.uk.
 
5.6 In addition to this, and, particularly in the current financial climate, an important
corporate consideration is the cost associated with implementing and operating a
system versus the perceived level of use/interest from residents of the Borough.
5.7 If an option was adopted utilising cameras operated by a Swindon Borough
Council employee(s). Staff (and costs) would need to be identified and allowance
made for training costs and for that training to be maintained to reflect system
developments. The staffing involvement is required under most of the options put
forward. Allowance would also need to be given to the availability of additional
adequately trained staff to provide cover in the event of sickness or other
absence,
5.8 All of the options outlined in the report require some degree of officer (and in
many cases Capita staff) time. This is not reflected in any of the costs identified
to date.
5.9 The use of an external supplier to provide hosting and broadcasting facilities is
common practice within many of the councils offering the service. These
specialist providers will help negate the need to involve internal IT resources in
the operation of broadcasting meetings. However, it will be necessary for IT
Services to be involved in the formation of any new system, to ensure the
provision of appropriate networking capacity and integration with the Council’s
website, and where practical with Modern.Gov, the Council’s software for
publishing its agendas and minutes on-line.
5.10 If Cabinet identifies a preferred option and agrees to implement this it would be
advisable that this be done on a pilot basis in order that a review can be
undertaken after a period of one year.
5.11 The costs referred to in this report are for recording and broadcasting (via the
internet / webcasting) Full Council meetings in the Council Chamber only. There
is a set amount of hours that would be hosted in a number of the options.
Including the Planning Committee, for example (which also meets in the Council
Chamber) would mean an increase in the number of hours hosted and therefore
an increase in cost. It was not within the scope of this report to look at
webcasting from Committee Rooms One to Six, however, as a rough benchmark,
Media On Demand (Option 10) have indicated that a portable system of cameras
which could be used in Committee Room Six (subject to being able to
successfully integrate with the existing microphone system) would be in the
region of £11,440 in the first year and £5,300 every year after. Committee Rooms
One to Five would also need an audio system which would further increase the
cost.”

Page 446

Recording and Broadcasting Full Council Meetings
Motion at Council

Cabinet Date: 20th March 2013

Further information on the subject of this report can be obtained from Iain Tucker, Direct
Legal and Human Rights Implications
5.12 Legal and Human Rights considerations have been taken fully into account in
compiling this report. It is considered that the recommendations of this report are
compatible with convention rights.
5.13 There is no legal restriction in relation to webcasting meetings, although where a
resolution is passed excluding the press and public because there is to be
consideration of exempt or confidential information, this part of the meeting
should not be webcast.
5.14 In order to ensure that the Council remains compliant with its obligations under
the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Human Rights Act 1998 it would be prudent
to agree a protocol to ensure members of the public attending such meetings are
aware that the meeting is to be filmed. The protocol should also address the
situation where meetings are determining an individual’s application and where
individuals making representations in such matters have concerns about being
filmed. The Council’s data protection policies and procedures may need
amending to reflect this.
All Other Implications (including Staff, Sustainability, Health, Rural, Crime and
Disorder)
5.15 Depending on which options in undertaken, there will be staffing implications for
those attending Council meetings.
Links to One Swindon, Strategic Objectives, Plans and Policies
5.16 No specific links have been identified.
Diversity Impact Assessment
5.17 A Diversity Impact Assessment has not been completed for this report at this
stage as the report sets out a number of diverse options without any certainty of
which might be pursued. A Diversity Impact Assessment may be required at a
later stage of the process.
5.18 However, it is recognised that broadcasting /webcasting of proceedings, in
particular, will have potential impacts on age, disability and gender grounds.
Further work and consultation with relevant groups and organisations to look at
the issues surrounding this option(s) in more detail will need to be undertaken.
5.19 Older people do not access the web as readily as younger residents do, and
therefore broadcasting utilising the Council’s website will not improve
accessibility for them. Similarly elderly residents have a greater fear of crime and
may not attend evening meetings for this reason. Webcasting / broadcasting will

Page 447

Recording and Broadcasting Full Council Meetings
Motion at Council
Cabinet Date: 20th March 2013
Further information on the subject of this report can be obtained from Iain Tucker, Direct
Dial (01793) 463605, itucker@swindon.gov.uk.
not improve this situation. In terms of gender, males access the web more than
females and therefore webcasting would have a greater impact on males than
females. In terms of disability, webcasting / broadcasting could positively impact
on residents with a physical disability, who if wishing to attend a Council meeting
will have the opportunity to watch (or listen to) the meeting from home. We are
unable to estimate the numbers this would affect. However, for residents with a
sensory or learning disability in the same situation, webcasting / broadcasting will
not make a difference to them.
5.20 If introduced, to fully comply with equalities legislation the Council would need to
think about producing a transcript of the meeting if the webcasts / broadcasts
were archived, or including closed caption content with the live stream. Though
technically feasible this is a time consuming and expensive feature which could
possibly be offered on demand only.
Risk Management
5.21 This will mostly be reputational, For example, as with any broadcast of a live
event, there are inherent risks involved. Depending on the option chosen the
Council may not able to edit a video before it is streamed live over the Internet, or
to retain the public’s trust in the integrity of the video. It may also be difficult to
ensure that individuals will not be able to subsequently inappropriately edit the
archive. This risk would be mitigated if the Council controlled the recording,
editing and hosting of the material. The Council will have no control if an
individual or the media takes a portion of a webcast and uses it for their own
purposes.
6. Consultees
6.1 The Board Director Finance, Revenues, Benefits and Property (Section 151
Officer) and Director of Law and Democratic Services (Monitoring Officer) are
consulted in respect of all reports.
7. Background Papers
7.1 None.
8. Appendices
8.1 None.
9. Key Decision/Decision in Forward Plan
9.1 This is not a Key Decision and is included in the Cabinet Work Programme /
Forward Plan for March 2012.

Page 448



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Offline Simon

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Re: The Recording of Meetings to be discussed at Cabinet March 20th
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2013, 06:37:44 PM »
Unless I've missed something in reading that, I think they've missed something. There's lots of talk about needing 2 cameras to properly cover the meeting and therefore needing 2 people (volunteers or officers) to operate the camera.

It doesn't seem to mention the fact that there are already some cameras installed which automatically centre on whichever seat has its little red microphone light lit, for the purposes of displaying on the big screens in the corners of the room. Surely it's possible to plug some kind of video recording device into the output from those cameras?
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Offline Spunkymonkey

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Re: The Recording of Meetings to be discussed at Cabinet March 20th
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2013, 06:40:40 PM »
Carmarthenshire Council had some one arrested for filming a council meeting:-

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21531442

But, now that have agreed to broadcast live and unedited on the web:-

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-west-wales-21579867

The report states that "Eric Pickles, the UK Secretary for Communities and Local Government, last week entered the debate on Twitter under the hashtag #daft arrest, saying that the law had been changed in England last year, allowing people to report, tweet and film council meetings."

It appears that permission is not required to film council meetings.

Offline Spunkymonkey

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Re: The Recording of Meetings to be discussed at Cabinet March 20th
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2013, 06:46:18 PM »
Article on the BBC website today ................ "Live online council meeting broadcasts in Bristol have been watched by as few as three people, the BBC has learned. The city council has been webcasting a range of meetings since 2008 to improve openness and accountability of local decision making. Other meetings have attracted more than 14,000 live views and the council said webcasting was a "huge success". Some councillors said the project, which has cost £100,000 over five years, may need to be reconsidered."

Full story here:- http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-21769513

Offline Simon

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Re: The Recording of Meetings to be discussed at Cabinet March 20th
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2013, 07:13:36 PM »
I'm not sure that webcasting, broadcasting the meeting live, is the most important outcome. I think the archived recordings are more important, so that people can revisit a meeting a year or two after it was held and check exactly what a particular cllr said on the subject of, say, their directorship or otherwise of a particular company.

I suspect that bringing webcasting into the equation would increase the challenges and costs quite significantly, with little benefit to show for it - I doubt there's a great deal of demand for watching these meetings live.

Stick to the idea of recording the meetings and publishing the recording fairly soon afterwards, I say. Personally, I wouldn't mind if it took a day or 2 to get the videos published.
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Offline Richard Symonds

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Re: The Recording of Meetings to be discussed at Cabinet March 20th
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2013, 07:28:58 PM »
I agree entirely Simon.

When I videod the budget debate I missed a lot of the detail as I was concentrating on the filming and not on what was actually happening in the chamber.  It was really interesting to see it again, as a recording, and note the detail.  It is now encapsulated for all time and that is what I would like to see for ALL meetings of Swindon Borough Council including all Cabinet and Committee Meetings.

Does anyone think we should ask to video the Cabinet on March 20th when they actually discuss this subject?
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Offline Spunkymonkey

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Re: The Recording of Meetings to be discussed at Cabinet March 20th
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2013, 07:30:16 PM »
I agree that archived recordings would be more useful, providing that they are a true reflection of the meeting and not politically edited highlights.

Offline Simon

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Re: The Recording of Meetings to be discussed at Cabinet March 20th
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2013, 08:02:24 PM »
I agree that archived recordings would be more useful, providing that they are a true reflection of the meeting and not politically edited highlights.

Provided that they are a true reflection...  Squarely upon head does hammer hit nail. Whoever is responsible for transforming the raw footage from the meeting into what is published on the interwebs, needs to be trusted to ensure that the published video is an accurate representation of what actually happened.

Who can be trusted to do this? If volunteers from the general public do it then they can be accused of selective editing to support their favoured cause. Likewise, if council officers do it then they could be accused of selective editing to support the cause of whoever decides whether or not they still have a job tomorrow. If the ruling group get to direct the person who does it then it's little more than another bit of local government propaganda.

This is a tricky question, and I'm afraid I don't have an answer to it at the moment  :-\
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Offline Mickraker

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Re: The Recording of Meetings to be discussed at Cabinet March 20th
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2013, 09:25:52 AM »
If it was recorded onto a DVD or other medium it could be archived in the Library or at Wiltshire archives. In a few years people will look back and think why was this such a difficult thing to do when they put a man on the moon 44years previously  :-\
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Offline Muggins

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Re: The Recording of Meetings to be discussed at Cabinet March 20th
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2013, 09:46:19 AM »
So the answer is easy, just record, don't edit, cost less too!   

I agree archive recording. Its easy enough these days even for an old dear like me to find the two minutes I want out of a hour's recording.
Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline Mickraker

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Re: The Recording of Meetings to be discussed at Cabinet March 20th
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2013, 09:52:09 AM »
So the answer is easy, just record, don't edit, cost less too!   

I agree archive recording. Its easy enough these days even for an old dear like me to find the two minutes I want out of a hour's recording.

Isn't technology amazing  :clap:
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Offline Muggins

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Re: The Recording of Meetings to be discussed at Cabinet March 20th
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2013, 11:12:12 AM »
So the answer is easy, just record, don't edit, cost less too!   

I agree archive recording. Its easy enough these days even for an old dear like me to find the two minutes I want out of a hour's recording.

Isn't technology amazing  :clap:


It's still a miracle every day to me Mickr. I still don't take it for granted..blooming amazing.

Off to try and do a text on me fancy phone!

By the way what is this tapatalk thingy, how does it work, what does it cost, where can i get it  and would it help me?
Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline komadori

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Re: Re: The Recording of Meetings to be discussed at Cabinet March 20th
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2013, 12:52:20 PM »
So the answer is easy, just record, don't edit, cost less too!
The only way to avoid editing is if it is linked to members turning on the microphone at their seat. As there's already cameras linked to that maybe it'll be simple to do.

Sent from my GT-S5360 using Xparent Green Tapatalk thingy (a program on a mobile phone for viewing forums, and costing a couple of golden beer tokens).

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Offline Muggins

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Re: The Recording of Meetings to be discussed at Cabinet March 20th
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2013, 02:48:55 PM »
So the answer is easy, just record, don't edit, cost less too!
The only way to avoid editing is if it is linked to members turning on the microphone at their seat. As there's already cameras linked to that maybe it'll be simple to do.

Sent from my GT-S5360 using Xparent Green Tapatalk thingy (a program on a mobile phone for viewing forums, and costing a couple of golden beer tokens).



First, part, I see, not as simple as just uploading it all then.  There I am, making the same mistake as so many, assuming that things are easier than what they are, without out knowing how they work and reading the paperwork properly. the only difference beign that I am willing to listen adn learn. Arumph.....

2nd part, that me done for then, no golden beer tokens - do you think they'd take a few greenshield stamps instead? Bet you i could find some if I needed to.
Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline Mickraker

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Re: The Recording of Meetings to be discussed at Cabinet March 20th
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2013, 05:29:34 AM »
Recording meetings for posterity should be something the council would welcome surely  :-\

Recording local democracy in action could be entertainment for future generations if it's good enough for Mr Cholmondley-Warner why not local councils  :-\

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=toLbQd9uriI&feature=related

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Offline Mart

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Re: The Recording of Meetings to be discussed at Cabinet March 20th
« Reply #15 on: March 16, 2013, 09:11:35 AM »
Is it really cheaper to scribble down a truncated and sometimes editorially enhanced set of minutes than it is to simply digitally record meetings?

I'm not a whiz on such things but it occurs to me that my music collection is now almost entirely digital, it's definitely more accessible and cheaper than buying sheet music and gathering round the old joanna. Isn't that a reasonable metaphor  / analogy for the argument here?

Not at all surprised that SBC could spend the equivalent of Guatemala's GDP to record meetings, I always expect to see a 0 on the end of anything they procure and see nothing unusual in them using their probable purchasing inpetitude as a defence in this instance, bit odd from a body that knew everything there was to know about matters Digital such a short time ago though ....

It'd keep Rob happy as well, he could check all recordings for evidence of reptilian behaviour, I'd expect something more simian in nature personally.

It can be done very cost effectively, 'they' don't want it to be done because it lifts the rock.

Pisses me off they we have to ask for something that should be offered, makes you wonder who is in charge.
Sometimes I think you have to march right in and demand your rights, even if you don’t know what your rights are, or who the person is you’re talking to. Then, on the way out, slam the door.

Offline Muggins

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Re: The Recording of Meetings to be discussed at Cabinet March 20th
« Reply #16 on: March 16, 2013, 10:23:21 AM »

Mart:  Is it really cheaper to scribble down a truncated and sometimes editorially enhanced set of minutes than it is to simply digitally record meetings?

I can give you the answer to that, although you already know know it, NO its not, to produce a set of minutes you obviously have to sit through the meeting. 

To be creative about what you include or not takes a while, and actually typing it take a few less minutes that it used when we had the old upright typewriters, even with years more experience.

When they first came out, I bought myself one of those small recorders so I could take part in meetings rather than be jotting down notes.  That didn't work, I had to sit through the flipping meeting again to get to the bits that needed noting.  I found that having a good memory, knowing what was going on and doing the minutes asap after the meeting was the best thing.
I paid out a coupl of years back and got one of those type by sound programmes, but no matter how hard I 'trained' it it refused to speak the same language as me, so took as long to edit it as it did to type from the notes and memory.

If I had a way of sending the minutes round and keeping them for the archive, the best would be a full recording.  It would cost me less time and if I was being paid  :2funny: :2funny: :2funny:
therefore less money and more efficient.

Mind, if I did that, and exactly the same as a business or council meeting, you'd get the WHOLE meeting, warts and all!  Probably cause WW3.

Have you noticed how many warts there are about these days?



Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline Richard Symonds

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Re: The Recording of Meetings to be discussed at Cabinet March 20th
« Reply #17 on: March 16, 2013, 11:28:08 AM »
Is it really cheaper to scribble down a truncated and sometimes editorially enhanced set of minutes than it is to simply digitally record meetings?

Having taken minutes myself I can tell you it is a challenging occupation, but if one had a recording to which to refer back there would be absolutely no excuse as their accuracy.  No more Mr Symonds asked a question about Wi-fi, the minutes should show the question in its entirety and the response and not some abbreviated nonsense that takes the meaning away.  If it were to be videoed in its entirety this would prove exactly what was said and how it was handled

Not at all surprised that SBC could spend the equivalent of Guatemala's GDP to record meetings, I always expect to see a 0 on the end of anything they procure and see nothing unusual in them using their probable purchasing inpetitude as a defence in this instance, bit odd from a body that knew everything there was to know about matters Digital such a short time ago though ....

As the Borough Solicitor knows I have suggested that the Media Studies students at the College should be invited to get involved as part of their study and course work.  If this were handled properly I am sure this could be organized without cost.  That assumes Rod does not offer money we have not got and needed elsewhere!!

It'd keep Rob happy as well, he could check all recordings for evidence of reptilian behaviour.

and his own Mart!!

It can be done very cost effectively, 'they' don't want it to be done because it lifts the rock.

Exactly, and I expect a raft of excuses as to why it cannot be done.  I hope to be proven wrong and will be delighted if I am.

Pisses me off they we have to ask for something that should be offered, makes you wonder who is in charge.

You know who is in charge Mart and it is not the electorate, who only assume a position of responsibility when they elect or in the case of the 70% disinterested enough to ignore their right to vote don't elect a person of their choice.  Now if a non of the above box was entertained I suggest that it would get elected across the borough, but could it form an administration?

Are you coming along on Wednesday night to witness this Mart?  Haven't seen you for a while!
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Offline komadori

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Re: The Recording of Meetings to be discussed at Cabinet March 20th
« Reply #18 on: March 16, 2013, 12:22:52 PM »
Is it really cheaper to scribble down a truncated and sometimes editorially enhanced set of minutes than it is to simply digitally record meetings?
Whilst the 'doing' might be a lot cheaper digitally, it's very easy for the cost of setting it all up to start with to get out of hand - very out of hand. If you want it to be free from editorial interference, then it has to be a system with some automation, so that it isn't dependent on a council employee or councillor (or anyone else with their own agenda, political or otherwise) to dictate what gets recorded. So that's either the cost of new automation, or using the system they've already got that's linked to the microphones. But if the system they've already got isn't designed to work with a recording system, then there's the cost of getting the existing camera system and the new recording system to work together. And then there's the cost of software licenses, or of maintenance....

Not at all surprised that SBC could spend the equivalent of Guatemala's GDP to record meetings
And there's a long history of failed, expensive IT procurmenet projects that show many others could spend the same too.
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Offline Bobby Bingo

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Re: The Recording of Meetings to be discussed at Cabinet March 20th
« Reply #19 on: March 16, 2013, 02:05:03 PM »
I notice that "Reindeer Man" has his grinning picture in the local press again today. He is advocating that we twit. This is advice from a right "TW*T"
Bobby