Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Town Hall meetings could be recorded and then be available through a website.
But first town councillors will wait to see the outcome of a pilot to record meetings, started by East Devon District Council.
On Monday, town councillors backed the principal of allowing electronic recording of meetings.
Minutes currently are taken by hand, but the council believes that verbatim recordings would lead the authority to be more open and transparent in the way decisions are made.
Minutes often only give the bare facts about an agenda item, including the decision.
However, a verbatim recording would enable the public to learn the nature and tone of the debate which led up to the decision.
It would also provide the council with a more detailed account for its records.
Councillor David Chapman said: “I attended an overview and scrutiny committee meeting last Thursday at the district council, and that was recorded.
“They are in the process of recording their meetings and matching it with hand written minutes, to see what discrepancies there are, if any.
“We have the perfect situation, where we can see what happens before we proceed.”
Town clerk Colin Poole said: “Gradually they will record every meeting, and if they trip over, they will review it.”
Councillor Eileen Wragg said: “The county council already webcast meetings; it is nothing new.”
Councillor Trevor Cope said: “I can’t see why we have to wait.”