Alerts

ER Newsline

More ...

Surveys
Forum

Search this site....

Home Forum
Welcome, Guest
Username Password: Remember me

East Renfrewshire Council chiefs quizzed over snub for bid to tape Cabinet meetings
(1 viewing) (1) Guest
  • Page:
  • 1

TOPIC: East Renfrewshire Council chiefs quizzed over snub for bid to tape Cabinet meetings

East Renfrewshire Council chiefs quizzed over snub for bid to tape Cabinet meetings 2 months, 1 week ago #1

  • Ernhw Ltd
  • OFFLINE
  • Moderator
  • ernhw Ltd
  • Posts: 9158
  • Karma: 576
THE “openness and transparency” of East Renfrewshire Council has been called into question after a request to record meetings was rejected.

Councillor David Macdonald asked council leaders why a member of the public hadn’t been granted permission to record Cabinet meetings in March and April.

Reading from the minutes of one of the meetings, he said: “The deputy leader intimated that a request had been received for permission to audio record the meeting. Having given consideration to the request, the Cabinet decided that permission be denied.”

Mr Macdonald, who represents Clarkston, Netherlee and Williamwood as an Independent, added: “Because no reasons are minuted, it seems to go against council policy to encourage openness and transparency and I would appreciate if somebody could establish what the course of action is going forward for other meetings.”

Tory councillor Stewart Miller also questioned the decision.

He said: “Is there a reason for it? We do allow recording at the audit and scrutiny committee. There’s surely got to be a reason for not allowing the public to record.

“I can understand why they didn’t do it if there’s an exempt item but the full thing? I cannot understand that one.”

Council leader and Cabinet chairman Tony Buchanan said all elected members on the committee had agreed audio recording wouldn’t be allowed.

He added: “At the Cabinet meetings, there is more than ample coverage of any discussions that we have.

“The papers are brought forward for ratification, there is the opportunity for audit and scrutiny to call it in and the public may attend if they so choose and hear the information that is being discussed.

“Following one of the decisions that we took not to allow audio recording, the individual who requested it immediately left, so did not show any interest in the work of the Cabinet or the papers that were there for discussion.

“We see no need to allow that at present.”

Councillor Paul O’Kane, who is Cabinet vice-chairman, said a precedent had already been set ahead of the request being made.

He continued: “The council doesn’t formally record in an audio and visual sense. It keeps a minute record of the decisions that are taken under discussion.

“It was decided by councillors that it was appropriate that, as the council itself doesn’t audio record, that wasn’t open to people in the gallery.”

Re: East Renfrewshire Council chiefs quizzed over snub for bid to tape Cabinet meetings 2 months, 1 week ago #2

  • Tom
  • OFFLINE
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Posts: 522
  • Karma: 0
I am critical of Tony Buchanan and Paul O'Kane who are responsible for denying the public their rights as enshrined in the Local Government (Scotland ) Act 1973.

What kind of pathetic excuse is "We don't do it, so we don't want the public to do it". or "Its all in the minutes".

These are the minutes that are 'not verbatim', so the public never get to read what was actually said by Elected Members.

In England this has been law since 2014, why is Buchanan denying Scots an equal right?

Incidentally the person who left the chamber was not the person who made the request, I would imagine we will hear more about this in the coming months.

Re: East Renfrewshire Council chiefs quizzed over snub for bid to tape Cabinet meetings 2 months, 1 week ago #3

  • Ernhw Ltd
  • OFFLINE
  • Moderator
  • ernhw Ltd
  • Posts: 9158
  • Karma: 576
Why are there new national rules? (In England)

We now live in a modern, digital world where the use of modern communication methods
such as filming, tweeting and blogging should be embraced for enhancing the openness
and transparency of local government bodies.

This will ensure we have strong, 21st century, local democracy where local government bodies are genuinely accountable to the local people whom they serve and to the local taxpayers who help fund them.

Re: East Renfrewshire Council chiefs quizzed over snub for bid to tape Cabinet meetings 2 months ago #4

  • RM64
  • OFFLINE
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Posts: 826
  • Karma: 1
As yet Council Leader Cllr Buchanan has not responded -

------ Original Message ------
To: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Sent: Thursday, 9 May, 2019 At 16:31
Subject: Council Meeting 1 May 2019 - Incorrect Statement by Council Leader Cllr Buchanan - response required

Dear Cllr Buchanan(Council Leader and Chairperson of Cabinet Committee)

I refer to Full Council meeting 1 May 2019 which I viewed via the live Webcast.

You stated at this meeting -

"What I would say is that following on one of the decisions that we took not to allow audio recording the individual who requested it immediately left so did not show any interest in the work of the cabinet or the papers".

I understand the individual you refer to is myself.

I don't think we have ever met and/or spoken, however I am flattered that you noticed my presence in the public gallery, and probably even more flattered that you noticed when I wasn't there.

I did not request that the Cabinet meeting be audio recorded.

I have regularly attended previous Cabinet meetings and attended the recent Cabinet meeting on 25 April 2019.

Why would you fail to mention that I sat through all these entire meetings?

As you are aware I do read Cabinet papers and indeed show interest in the work of Cabinet and the papers.

I had read the papers for the meeting you refer to and was aware of the business to be transacted.

People come and go from the public gallery.

Why did you pick me out specifically to 'publicly shame' me for leaving the public gallery when you were not aware of my reasons for doing so?

Indeed, Councillors attend Cabinet meetings sitting in the public gallery.

They frequently leave during the meetings.............

So in your opinion these Councillors do ' not show any interest in the work of the Cabinet or the papers.' ?

You get paid to attend these meetings.

I have to make the time and effort on my own behalf to attend these meetings.

These meetings are held at these times for the convenience of Councillors. Not for the convenience of East Renfrewshire Residents.

As I am interested in the work of the Cabinet and papers, I try to attend Council meetings when I can, but the times are not always convenient. This meeting was not particularly convenient for me.

That is why I am ultimately in favour of Wecasting Cabinet Committee meetings.

I did not request that the Cabinet meeting be audio recorded.

You specifically picked me out to 'publicly shame' me for being in and leaving the public gallery but had no reasons for doing so.

You did not know the reason why I left the meeting.

I would appreciate if you will let me know how you intend to correct your statement and apologise for your error.

Thanks

Re: East Renfrewshire Council chiefs quizzed over snub for bid to tape Cabinet meetings 2 months ago #5

  • RM64
  • OFFLINE
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Posts: 826
  • Karma: 1
Extract from email from Eamonn Daly, Democratic Services Manager, Department of Corporate and Community Services providing answers to questions.

( Mr Daly gives the name of an 'individual'. I am not sure why Mr Daly would have given me the name of someone who has contacted the Council in their own personal capacity.

I have replaced their name [NAME].

They can let themselves be known if they wish to.)



------ Original Message ------
From: "Daly, Eamonn" < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
Cc: "O'Neil, Paul [CE]" <paul.o' This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
Sent: Monday, 13 May, 2019 At 17:48
Subject: RE: Full Council meeting 1 May 2019 - Incorrect Statement by Cllr Buchanan regarding Audio Recording

I refer to Full Council meeting 1 May 2019 which I viewed via the live Webcast.

Cllr Buchanan(Council Leader and Chairperson of Cabinet Committee) stated at this meeting -

"What I would say is that following on one of the decisions that we took not to allow audio recording the individual who requested it immediately left so did not show any interest in the work of the cabinet or the papers".

Q. Please give details of how Cllr Buchanan would become aware of the names of individuals who make requests for audio recordings of Council meetings.

A. A copy of the email requests to audio record the meetings was forwarded to Councillor Buchanan for his information.


Q. Please give details of the procedures followed when a request for audio recording a Council meeting is made -

A. The process is outlined below


- this should include details of who is informed,

A. The Chair of the relevant meeting.


- how they are informed and

A. Mostly by email in advance and also reminded at the start of the meeting.


- what names are given and to who.

A. The Chair will either receive a copy of the original email request, or be notified that the request has been received.

Q. Please give details of what action can be taken to correct an incorrect statement made via a Webcast that contains false information.

A. If you feel that an incorrect statement has been made by a councillor or officer on a webcast you should write to the councillor or officer concerned with the details that you think were incorrect.

The councillor or officer concerned can then decide whether or not they agree with you and if so whether they will make a correcting statement at the next meeting that is being webcast.

I have spoken with Councillor Buchanan in relation to the statement he made and he has confirmed that despite the fact that neither you nor [NAME} were mentioned in the statement he made at the meeting, he will make a clarification statement at the next meeting of the Council that the person who left the Cabinet meeting following the decision not to permit audio recording was not the same person who submitted the request.


Q. Please give details of how a request can be made for a Webcast to be removed from the Council Website, when it contains false information.

A. Webcasts will not be removed from the website. They are simply a record of what was said at a meeting.

Q. Please confirm I did not make a request for this Cabinet meeting be audio recorded.

A. I can confirm that you did not make the request to audio record the meeting of the Cabinet referred to by Councillor Buchanan.

Q. I would appreciate if you will let me know how the Council normally corrects false statements and apologises for these type errors.

A. I refer you to my answer above.
  • Page:
  • 1
Time to create page: 0.36 seconds