Thursday, 19 February 2009

Complaint to the council about webcatsing council meetings

I have just made the following complaint using TDCs online complaints form.

“This complaint is that TDC are both failing in transparency of government and failing to use facilities to enable transparency in government, which have already paid for by the taxpayer and installed. By this I mean the failure to webcast council meetings.

I brought this matter to Richard Samuels’s attention back in October of last year and apart from vague promises to address the issue, there has been no actual discernable progress.

I also pointed out that Kent TV paid for by the taxpayer, hosts webcasts for nothing, and as the council meetings are already filmed and put onto dvd, the dvds could be sent to Kent TV by post for hosting at a negligible cost to the taxpayer.

I will forward this to the LGO with any comment you have made tomorrow.”

Ed. I should point out that I am very reluctant to make official complaints and try to explore every other avenue first, I should also like to point out that I have discussed this matter with several councillors of both parties and that all of those who replied were for the idea.

12 comments:

  1. Ramsgate ResidentFebruary 19, 2009 1:45 pm

    Here here.

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  2. I looked into this before Michael and suspect that the problem is one of cost. I was given to understand at the time that we had a limited bandwidth capability in the council offices and I think if we started ploughing money into real-time webcasting some other vital service may suffer from a budget reduction in the present economic climate.

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  3. Simon I think Kent TV or even youtube or one of the other free sites would be an option, I suppose worst-case scenario is they could post me the disks and I could put them up for them.

    Also TDC have a whole department filtering officers and councillors email, perhaps in these more frugal times they could all receive their own Spam folders and sort them out, like the rest of us have to, and this department could be put to better use letting the electorate know what the council are up to.

    Wasting money on things like filtering out emails with a lot of flesh tones in them so those at TDCs sensibilities aren’t offended is ludicrous to the extreme especially when so many councillors have given up on their TDC addresses and just use their own like you do or get a hotmail account.

    You an I both know that the astute look for what’s free in the internet and use that in the first instance, TDC told me that although Kent TV host everyone else’s videos for nothing they would charge TDC, do you really believe this? If so I will put it to the Daily Express so they can put it to Bob.

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  4. Even if Kent tv do charge it wont be a lot versus starting an in house service A good tv quaility camera around 2 grand and the techno wizz guys at TDC would have hours of fun fitting it instead of filtering e-mails and then send the dvd out un edited so we can all be bored if the feeling so takes us

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  5. Don the TV cameras are already fitted we paid for them they use them too to make dvds, it’s just a matter of putting them on Kent TV youtube or whatever.

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  6. Its a nobrainer then I for one would take a deco at the occasional meeting . Simon, Bandwidth is for nothing now compared to a couple of years ago I understand it needs to be budgeted for but having made the investment in cameras why was it not bugeted in at that time ??

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  7. Michael WHAT DVD's I have never seen a Thanet DVD

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  8. I don’t think it’s something TDC like to talk about that much Don, but members of the Labour group who were instrumental in getting the system installed, just before they were voted out of office, mention them occasionally

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  9. Michael & Don, a DVD of the extraordinary Full Council of 9 OCT 2008 (China Gateway) was produced by TDC and was available on request from Democratic Services in lieu of a full transcript. If you ask for the Full Transcript for Manston meeting last week they will probably send you a DVD!

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  10. Imagine were paying our taxes so that Bob Geldof can make a video, on the taxpayer wedge, extolling the virtues of Kent TV, and made I guess by his company in rock star edgy style.

    Yet those same taxes cant get this video of Thanet councils meeting on the web, come off it.

    I get the impression that some would prefer to keep council doings in the chamber and maybe for the chosen few down the lodge!

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  11. "...some other vital service may suffer from a budget reduction in the present economic climate."

    Democracy is luxury only affordable in the 'good times'? I note too that Cllr Nottingham came in for some stick for his blogging of council minutes.

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  12. Jean I don’t follow you, as they are already making the DVDs and I have offerd to put them up for them if Kent TV won’t then we are looking at the cost of a stamp and a DVD i.e. less than £1 per webcast.

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