Friday, 13 March 2009

BROADCAST OPTIONS DEBATED

Thanet district Council press release

Possible options for broadcasting council meetings in the future have been presented to a meeting of the council’s watchdog body.

Members were told on Tuesday night (10 March) that the council is unable to webcast through its current camera system.

Two options had therefore been investigated by officers. One is the live broadcasting of meetings, while the other is “on demand”, which would allow people to play back video of the meeting after it had happened, in much the same way as people can access sites such as You Tube or the BBC’s iPlayer.

Members heard that both options would have significant costs, with live broadcasting likely to cost around £6,000 per month, with set-up costs of around £17,000. Enquiries showed that the on demand option is likely to cost around £17,000 per year and there is no budget for the project for 2009/10.

The panel agreed that, if the council chamber was to be moved into Margate Old Town, as has previously been proposed, then the plans should look at including equipment that would allow meetings to be broadcast. Officers have been asked to look at any opportunities prior to the move, but using minimal budget.

Cllr. Bob Bayford, Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Panel, said: “The sentiment of the panel was very much that we’d all be only too pleased to share what we do with our residents, but the cost of the proposed options is just too high right now, especially with the possibility that the council chamber may be moving in the future. One thing I’d like to make clear is that broadcasting council meetings won’t add to scrutiny of what members do, as this panel already does that job. All that broadcasting meetings will do is allow people to observe meetings.”

5 comments:

  1. "I’d like to make clear is that broadcasting council meetings won’t add to scrutiny of what members do, as this panel already does that job."

    Please, don't make me laugh. Really.

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  2. Hopefully this will put an end to the stupid idea of live broadcasts from the Council chambers. If we have a spare £89,000 a year to spend on websteaming then I suggest they employ 3 new road sweepers and send one of them to my street....

    I don't pay my taxes so that less than 1% of the Thanet populace can watch the Council... I pay it for services that actually make a difference!

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  3. No one seems to have considered the option of sending the CDs that they are already making of the meetings to Kent TD who say they would host them for nothing, I wonder why. Could it be that it was too inexpensive a solution to be worthy of consideration.

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  4. Well Michael you know the Council would rather spend some money than none at all... Kent TV is the ideal solution, hosting them directly from Thanet is better than live streaming, but even that in my mind would be a waste of £17,000.

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  5. Well I am just so glad that they want to share what they do because I really don’t see why a public spirited member of the public can’t request the DVDs from them and send them to KCC now.

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