Rother council leaders to consider filming meetings

Cameras could be installed at Bexhill Town Hall to film Rother District Council meetings
Cameras could be installed at Bexhill Town Hall to film Rother District Council meetings

Rother District Council could be set to begin filming its meetings, if proposals are given the go ahead by senior councillors next week. 

On Monday (December 2), the authority’s cabinet is set to discuss proposals to install fixed video cameras within the council chamber in Bexhill Town Hall. 

The move, which council officers say would be expected to cost somewhere in the region of £17,000, would be the first step towards the authority creating a video archive of its meetings and discussions.  

Even if approved, the move is unlikely to lead to meetings being webcast any time in the near future.  According to council documents, this is because the cost of doing so is expected to be prohibitive in the short term, with a year’s webcasting contract costing £12,000.

While council papers say this cost would fall over a longer term contract, the funds would have to be found through budget cuts elsewhere.

In a report to be considered by cabinet members, a council officer said: “There is no provision for this cost within the revenue budget [and] compensatory savings would need to be identified for the council to be able to afford to provide webcasting.

“The council can, however, place the video recordings of the meetings on the website (at no additional cost) where they can be viewed.

“It is therefore recommended that given the cost and the potential viewing numbers the option of live webcasting meetings is not pursued at this time.”

As part of the meeting, cabinet members will also consider whether to recommend all formal meetings of the council are video recorded.

If backed by cabinet, the proposals to begin video recording would require a change in the council’s constitution, which would need to be approved at a full council vote.