September 8, 2017


BBC, ITV and now committee-TV. It might not sound quite as enticing but Basildon Council believes webcasting committee meetings, allowing people to watch proceedings live over the internet, is a demonstration of openness and transparency and offers those who can’t get to meetings to see councillors in action as they make key decisions. 

Basildon Council’s Policy and Resources Committee agreed at its meeting on Thursday 7 September to have all committee meetings held in the St George’s Suite, Basildon webcast live. Recordings of the meetings will be available through the council’s website for six months. 

Councillor Gavin Callaghan, Chairman of Policy and Resources Committee, said: "As a result in the change to the committee system, every single week decisions are being taken in public by councillors at council meetings. These are big and bold decisions that affect your housing, your community and your services. It is important that we do all we can to fashion new and modern ways for the council to interact with the public. This is a fantastic step to achieving that."

The webcasting system will also allow specific extracts of the meeting, such as particular speech or statement, to be made directly available through social media.

New microphones will be needed, though these would have had to be replaced at some point anyway. The scheme requires an initial investment of £35,000 plus £12,200 a year. This will be offset by savings in discontinuing the current audio recording, which costs £3,900 a year. The additional annual cost will be met from savings made from the adoption of a members’ allowance scheme earlier in the year.