Secret Meetings Should Be Recorded, Says Councillor

Councillor Richard McCarthy

A St Agnes Councillor has made a plea for Council proceedings held behind closed doors to be recorded electronically.

Cllr Richard McCarthy was referring to the so-called Part 3 of committee meetings, where the public and press are excluded. At this point, it is normal practice in our Council for any video or audio recordings to be switched off.

Richard said he was in no way implying that these recordings should be made public, but it was in the Council’s interest to have a verbatim record of all its proceedings at its disposal.

He said “we’re long past the days where 200 words of shorthand per minute was the norm,” adding that “we shouldn’t be relying on the committee secretary’s notes or members’ recollections of what was said.”

It was common sense, he said, to keep an accurate record, so queries about minutes or disagreements can be easily and sensibly resolved.

The proposal was supported by other members and will be brought to the next P&R meeting.

There have been several contentious issues discussed in closed session recently, including pay rises and market factor supplements for senior officers. Some Councillors have also voiced their concern that too many items have been withheld from the public.


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