Council webcasts should be made available to the public

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Independent Councillor David Macdonald is calling for council meeting webcasts to be stored and downloadable for the public for the entire duration of a council term.

Currently the webcasts arewiped from the archive after a few months.

Cllr Macdonald has written to the Democratic Services Manager at East Renfrewshire Council asking for the webcasts to be made available and requesting that all meetings of Audit and Scrutiny, Planning/LRB and Education are now webcast in addition to full council meetings

Cllr Macdonald said: “East Renfrewshire Council must begin broadcasting all meetings of the Cabinet, Audit & Scrutiny Committee, Planning Committee / Local Review Body and the Education Committees.

“These are the meetings that the public have the most interest in and, as elected councillors, we all need to be far more supportive in bringing about a far improved degree of transparency.

“Webcasting and proper historical archiving of the footage going back for the full term is the only way the public can see and hear exactly what is said in meetings and it will bring about a better understanding of the elected members positions on key issues.

“How else are the public supposed to decide who to vote for at the next election if they cannot see and hear how they perform?

Cllr Macdonald added: “I have called for this change and will not give up until that change happens.”

An East Renfrewshire Council spokesman said: “Council meetings are archived on the webcast system for six months; to change this would result in an increased cost.

“However, to address this, previous meetings, dating back to December 2015, are available to view on the Council’s YouTube channel.

“The Council is also exploring the download functionality on the current webcast system.”