Filming council meetings – my progress in Lichfield

So, after Chris Taggart was asked to leave a meeting of Windsor & Maidenhead for trying to video it, while SE1 managed to get permission to record Southwark Council meetings I decided to see what I could do in Lichfield. Here’s what I did.

  1. I sent an e-mail through Lichfield District Council’s generic contact form.
  2. I was then called by Richard King, Strategic Director of Democratic, Development and Legal Services who asked me a number of questions such as why I wanted to film and where the resulting video would end up. I explained that I work on The Lichfield Blog and it would probably end up there but would likely be embeddable (sic?) to other sites. Richard promised to talk internally and get back to me.
  3. A few days later I received a call from Richard in which he said that in principle it would be acceptable and we agreed that I would meet him and Elizabeth Thatcher, Communications Manager, before a Cabinet meeting to discuss the specifics.
  4. Before the Cabinet meeting Richard and Lizzie showed me the meeting rooms and we discussed where I could position myself to get a good shot of the proceedings (outside the public/press ‘pen’) and we chatted about making sure I could be discreet so as not to impact the meeting itself. We agreed that in order to get councillors and any visitors used to the idea I would begin filming as soon as I had the equipment to do so but without publishing the video. The idea is that this will ensure any concerns are ironed out before the film is made available to the world.
  5. I will now attend Cabinet, Full Council and Planning Committee meetings (maybe Overview & Scrutiny, too) just to see them in action so I get used to the format. Once I have a way to record video I will begin to record them and we’ll work out the specifics through learning by doing. Although, I’ve sent Richard and Lizzie a link to Paul’s recent post talking through Southwark’s guidance which should help & offered my own take.

I’ll blog again with further significant updates, as they come along. For now, I encourage everyone running a local blog to do the same in their area and contribute to the investigation.

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