ERC meetings to be webcast from Eastwood Park HQ

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Residents of East Renfrewshire will soon be able to watch council meetings remotely as ERC approves the introduction of a webcasting service.

The authority will join 70 local authorities across the UK in using the technology to allow members of the public access to council chambers via the web, including Glasgow City Council, Edinburgh and Renfrewshire councils.

In a report to council by the deputy chief executive, costs for the new scheme were laid out as £19,800 for installing a microphone, £13,567 for a one-year lease arrangement for its installation, operation and support, as well as £12,192 for second and third year provision. The service will also require a further £3,800 per annum to keep up a broadband connection between the council and contractor.

Despite the costs, a council spokeswoman maintained that “the introduction of web casting in the council chamber will enhance the democratic process in East Renfrewshire and give residents and those who may not otherwise be able to attend council meetings the opportunity to view them.

“It can only enhance the council’s transparency and means that our meetings will be accessible to all.”

The report adds that viewers will be able to hear meetings more clearly and gain more information in context, including speakers’ names, allowing them to engage better with matters discussed by the council.

The spokeswoman added that the new service is expected to be in place by autumn 2015.