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25th Jun, 2022

Meeting recording idea faces opposition

Malvern Editorial 1st Nov, 2013 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

FUTURE meetings of Malvern Town Council are set to be recorded using audio equipment.

Councillors voted in favour of the move to safeguard against being ‘misquoted’ by members of the public, stating there had been incidents in previous months where the facility would have been useful to back up what members had said.

However not all councillors were in favour of the proposal.

Coun Hannah Campbell said: “I have always been very hesitant of this, we have a minute taker.

“It might inhibit councillors from saying what they want to say.”

Coun Caroline Bovey also claimed it was unnecessary and feared it may take away from the more ‘informal’ committee meetings.

Others argued in favour, stating county councillors did not feel inhibited despite their meetings being broadcast live on the internet.

Coun Patrick Mewton added: “Members of the public can come in and record the meeting and that would not inhibit councillors saying what they wanted to say.

“Our own recordings would be there for accuracy and to stop the public writing things down and misquoting us. They are a security measure for our own protection.”

Town clerk Linda Blake confirmed the recordings would not be posted online but would be stored and archived at the council’s office at Bellevue Terrace for visitors to listen to if they wished.

A move to limit the facility to the seven full council meetings and not the committee meetings – around another 23 – was voted down by members.

The idea was first mooted in February last year however the council opted to continue using minute taker, a practice which will continue even when the recordings are introduced.

Since, the council has adopted a policy which allows members of the public to tweet, update Facebook and blogs, and film and record council meetings.

A firm which used a professional machine to record a full council meeting on October 1 for £50 said the council could purchase its own equipment for £250 which could be operated by officers.

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