Falkirk Council meetings will not go live

Falkirk Council will not be broadcasting meetings live
Falkirk Council will not be broadcasting meetings live

The plug has been pulled on the latest attempt to have Falkirk Council meetings broadcast live on the web.

Councillor Steven Jackson’s request to have the audio recordings of council business streamed live on the local authority’s website got a poor reception at a meeting of the full council last week.

Members voted to accept a motion from Councillors Dennis Goldie and Linda Gow to have the attendance and apologies of all councillors at all council meetings published on the Falkirk Council website within 48 hours of the meeting being held.

The information will also include details of any motion, amendment or addendum submitted and the result of any division, with a clear record of how each member voted.

Councillor Gow said: “I hope this is something everyone can support. This goes back to the budget, when people tried to find out what happened at the meeting and how people voted.

“If we published this information on our website within 48 hours it would save the public trying to find out from a councillor what happened at the meeting.

“There would also be a factual record, so there would be no dubiety about what happened.”

Opposition members put forward several unsuccessful amendments to the motion, including SNP group leader Cecil Meiklejohn’s bid to extend the motion to include meetings of outside bodies like Forth Valley Health Board and Falkirk Community Trust, Councillor Tom Coleman’s wish to extend and backdate the motion to include all meetings stretching back to 2012 and, of course, Councillor Jackson’s call for live web broadcasts.

Councillor Gow said: “I don’t have a problem with recording meetings, I’m quite happy with that. However, there are issues we need to understand before we make the decision to broadcast something live to the public on our website.

“We need a report from officers first before we go ahead with something like this.”

Council leader Craig Martin said he thought Councillor Coleman’s amendment was a “crazy idea”, while Councillor Gow said it would tie up already busy officers’ time sorting out information that is readily available online.