Southend councillors to block broadcast of meetings?

First published in Echo News

OUTRAGED councillors have vowed to scupper plans to spend £82,000 broadcasting their meetings across the internet.

Tory chiefs at Southend Council rubber-stamped proposals to install cameras in the Civic Centre’s main chamber, allowing residents to watch proceedings from the comfort of their own homes, earlier this month. But the decision went against the recommendations of an all-party scrutiny committee, which ruled the service was too costly in the current cash-strapped climate.

Snubbed councillors have now called for the opposition parties to come together to block the plans.

Martin Terry, spokesman for the council’s Independent group and leader of the opposition, said: “This is money we can ill afford to spend at this time.

“It might only be a few thousand pounds to some people, but to others it is money which could be better used elsewhere.

“Statistics have shown that broadcasting meetings is not popular and no one watches them.”

After May’s elections left the Tories one seat short of an overall majority in the council chamber, they agreed to run most major decisions through the three all-party scrutiny committees before reaching a final verdict.

The decision to press ahead with installing the cameras is the first time the Conservatives have ignored the committees’ recommendations.

If the Independents, Liberal Democrats and Labour unite to vote down the proposals at next month’s full council meeting , the issue could be sent back to the scrutiny committee for further debate.

Castle Point Council is currently the only authority in south Essex which broadcasts its meetings, which it started in February 2008.

Southend Council officers said the impending need to update the microphone system in the main chamber presented the ideal opportunity to introduce broadcasting.

The cameras would be programmed to focus on whoever switched on their microphone to speak, allowing meetings to be broadcast with minimal effort and cost.

Bosses estimate installing the system would cost £62,000, with maintenance and upgrades costing an extra £20,000 annually.

Comments (19)

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10:00am Fri 23 Nov 12

black jack ketchum says...

Considering people have voted these in & they are spending our money, why shouldn't we know what they get up to & say in these meetings?
Considering people have voted these in & they are spending our money, why shouldn't we know what they get up to & say in these meetings? black jack ketchum
  • Score: 6

10:08am Fri 23 Nov 12

fletch12107 says...

So much for transparency then. £20000 for annual maintenance!!! Are they getting the BBC outside broadcast team in then?
So much for transparency then. £20000 for annual maintenance!!! Are they getting the BBC outside broadcast team in then? fletch12107
  • Score: 4

10:13am Fri 23 Nov 12

maxell says...

I see somebody making a lot of money here or the cost have grosly over inflated (more likely as they could not hide)
this could easily be done with the use of ip cameras round about the £200 pound mark each a router/rj45 hub £300 a software controlled switcher to switch ips making it viewable from the same website, Could be done from a laptop and somebody to cable it in max cost 5k
my ip camera has been running 7 years without maintenance.
I see somebody making a lot of money here or the cost have grosly over inflated (more likely as they could not hide) this could easily be done with the use of ip cameras round about the £200 pound mark each a router/rj45 hub £300 a software controlled switcher to switch ips making it viewable from the same website, Could be done from a laptop and somebody to cable it in max cost 5k my ip camera has been running 7 years without maintenance. maxell
  • Score: 6

10:23am Fri 23 Nov 12

black jack ketchum says...

Wasting the general public's money is what the local councils do best!

After all its easy spendning money when its not your own!
Wasting the general public's money is what the local councils do best! After all its easy spendning money when its not your own! black jack ketchum
  • Score: 2

10:35am Fri 23 Nov 12

Eric Whim says...

they'd rather spend that money on more ale and pies
they'd rather spend that money on more ale and pies Eric Whim
  • Score: 1

11:54am Fri 23 Nov 12

jayman says...

why don't the council just publish 'easy to access' 'properly indexed' minuets of council meetings. I challenge anyone to navigate around the council website and find the minuets and scrutiny comments without wasting a day doing so.
why don't the council just publish 'easy to access' 'properly indexed' minuets of council meetings. I challenge anyone to navigate around the council website and find the minuets and scrutiny comments without wasting a day doing so. jayman
  • Score: 1

11:58am Fri 23 Nov 12

Shoebury_Cyclist says...

jayman wrote:
why don't the council just publish 'easy to access' 'properly indexed' minuets of council meetings. I challenge anyone to navigate around the council website and find the minuets and scrutiny comments without wasting a day doing so.
Here you go, less than thirty seconds after Googling 'Southend council minutes':

http://apps.southend
.gov.uk/minutes/
[quote][p][bold]jayman[/bold] wrote: why don't the council just publish 'easy to access' 'properly indexed' minuets of council meetings. I challenge anyone to navigate around the council website and find the minuets and scrutiny comments without wasting a day doing so.[/p][/quote]Here you go, less than thirty seconds after Googling 'Southend council minutes': http://apps.southend .gov.uk/minutes/ Shoebury_Cyclist
  • Score: 0

12:10pm Fri 23 Nov 12

Ian P says...

Shoebury_Cyclist wrote:
jayman wrote: why don't the council just publish 'easy to access' 'properly indexed' minuets of council meetings. I challenge anyone to navigate around the council website and find the minuets and scrutiny comments without wasting a day doing so.
Here you go, less than thirty seconds after Googling 'Southend council minutes': http://apps.southend .gov.uk/minutes/
I guess that is because you spelt the word minutes correctly. It is doubtful if the word minuets occurs anywhere on the SBC web site.
[quote][p][bold]Shoebury_Cyclist[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]jayman[/bold] wrote: why don't the council just publish 'easy to access' 'properly indexed' minuets of council meetings. I challenge anyone to navigate around the council website and find the minuets and scrutiny comments without wasting a day doing so.[/p][/quote]Here you go, less than thirty seconds after Googling 'Southend council minutes': http://apps.southend .gov.uk/minutes/[/p][/quote]I guess that is because you spelt the word minutes correctly. It is doubtful if the word minuets occurs anywhere on the SBC web site. Ian P
  • Score: 1

12:10pm Fri 23 Nov 12

jayman says...

Shoebury_Cyclist wrote:
jayman wrote:
why don't the council just publish 'easy to access' 'properly indexed' minuets of council meetings. I challenge anyone to navigate around the council website and find the minuets and scrutiny comments without wasting a day doing so.
Here you go, less than thirty seconds after Googling 'Southend council minutes':

http://apps.southend

.gov.uk/minutes/
i have been on this page many, many times. the layout is appalling, trying to find archived minuets is imposable and the comments from sub committees and scrutiny committees are not laid out correctly.

The website is designed to make it difficult to find clear concise information (unless its the main page containing Tory friendly news)

i suggest the council get the website correctly designed before they waste thousands of pounds on yet another pet project.. every school in the UK teaches people to 'read' so let us 'read' what was said, word for word..
[quote][p][bold]Shoebury_Cyclist[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]jayman[/bold] wrote: why don't the council just publish 'easy to access' 'properly indexed' minuets of council meetings. I challenge anyone to navigate around the council website and find the minuets and scrutiny comments without wasting a day doing so.[/p][/quote]Here you go, less than thirty seconds after Googling 'Southend council minutes': http://apps.southend .gov.uk/minutes/[/p][/quote]i have been on this page many, many times. the layout is appalling, trying to find archived minuets is imposable and the comments from sub committees and scrutiny committees are not laid out correctly. The website is designed to make it difficult to find clear concise information (unless its the main page containing Tory friendly news) i suggest the council get the website correctly designed before they waste thousands of pounds on yet another pet project.. every school in the UK teaches people to 'read' so let us 'read' what was said, word for word.. jayman
  • Score: 1

12:37pm Fri 23 Nov 12

notinwestcliffanymore says...

jayman wrote:
why don't the council just publish 'easy to access' 'properly indexed' minuets of council meetings. I challenge anyone to navigate around the council website and find the minuets and scrutiny comments without wasting a day doing so.
What you actually mean is you support the proposal and you would like to know what happens at meetings BUT because it is a tory porposal you cannot find in your heart to says yeah broadcast it for all to see.
[quote][p][bold]jayman[/bold] wrote: why don't the council just publish 'easy to access' 'properly indexed' minuets of council meetings. I challenge anyone to navigate around the council website and find the minuets and scrutiny comments without wasting a day doing so.[/p][/quote]What you actually mean is you support the proposal and you would like to know what happens at meetings BUT because it is a tory porposal you cannot find in your heart to says yeah broadcast it for all to see. notinwestcliffanymore
  • Score: 0

1:31pm Fri 23 Nov 12

jayman says...

notinwestcliffanymor
e
wrote:
jayman wrote:
why don't the council just publish 'easy to access' 'properly indexed' minuets of council meetings. I challenge anyone to navigate around the council website and find the minuets and scrutiny comments without wasting a day doing so.
What you actually mean is you support the proposal and you would like to know what happens at meetings BUT because it is a tory porposal you cannot find in your heart to says yeah broadcast it for all to see.
this is just a bad, overpriced proposal. I would support £82,000 going into schools , housing or community crime reduction. but £82,000 for a camera or two a microphone and a PC with internet connection is a bit laughable..

its a running theme with the council (yes a Tory council) as in, "its not our money, lets spend it"
[quote][p][bold]notinwestcliffanymor e[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]jayman[/bold] wrote: why don't the council just publish 'easy to access' 'properly indexed' minuets of council meetings. I challenge anyone to navigate around the council website and find the minuets and scrutiny comments without wasting a day doing so.[/p][/quote]What you actually mean is you support the proposal and you would like to know what happens at meetings BUT because it is a tory porposal you cannot find in your heart to says yeah broadcast it for all to see.[/p][/quote]this is just a bad, overpriced proposal. I would support £82,000 going into schools , housing or community crime reduction. but £82,000 for a camera or two a microphone and a PC with internet connection is a bit laughable.. its a running theme with the council (yes a Tory council) as in, "its not our money, lets spend it" jayman
  • Score: -1

1:32pm Fri 23 Nov 12

jayman says...

notinwestcliffanymor
e
wrote:
jayman wrote:
why don't the council just publish 'easy to access' 'properly indexed' minuets of council meetings. I challenge anyone to navigate around the council website and find the minuets and scrutiny comments without wasting a day doing so.
What you actually mean is you support the proposal and you would like to know what happens at meetings BUT because it is a tory porposal you cannot find in your heart to says yeah broadcast it for all to see.
this is just a bad, overpriced proposal. I would support £82,000 going into schools , housing or community crime reduction. but £82,000 for a camera or two a microphone and a PC with internet connection is a bit laughable..

its a running theme with the council (yes a Tory council) as in, "its not our money, lets spend it"
[quote][p][bold]notinwestcliffanymor e[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]jayman[/bold] wrote: why don't the council just publish 'easy to access' 'properly indexed' minuets of council meetings. I challenge anyone to navigate around the council website and find the minuets and scrutiny comments without wasting a day doing so.[/p][/quote]What you actually mean is you support the proposal and you would like to know what happens at meetings BUT because it is a tory porposal you cannot find in your heart to says yeah broadcast it for all to see.[/p][/quote]this is just a bad, overpriced proposal. I would support £82,000 going into schools , housing or community crime reduction. but £82,000 for a camera or two a microphone and a PC with internet connection is a bit laughable.. its a running theme with the council (yes a Tory council) as in, "its not our money, lets spend it" jayman
  • Score: -1

2:37pm Fri 23 Nov 12

Nebs says...

If the council was a business, they would have been wound up years ago.
If the council was a business, they would have been wound up years ago. Nebs
  • Score: 4

3:27pm Fri 23 Nov 12

emcee says...

There are far more costly wastes of money that the council have been rubber stamping lately. The cost of broadcasting their meetings is small fry compared to these other projects. I think those councillors against spending money for these broadcasts are only trying to find excuses in the hope to avoid something that may make them look foolish or not up to their job as a councillor.
Anything that makes councillors know that we may be scrutinising their every move may provoke more efficiency within the council and will certainly force these councillors to actually perform the duties they were elected for.
There are far more costly wastes of money that the council have been rubber stamping lately. The cost of broadcasting their meetings is small fry compared to these other projects. I think those councillors against spending money for these broadcasts are only trying to find excuses in the hope to avoid something that may make them look foolish or not up to their job as a councillor. Anything that makes councillors know that we may be scrutinising their every move may provoke more efficiency within the council and will certainly force these councillors to actually perform the duties they were elected for. emcee
  • Score: 2

5:02pm Fri 23 Nov 12

rhowes says...

I have always been in favour of a webcam. Usually the best theatre in town on these Thursday evenings.
But then my favorite TV programme is PMQ's.
I have always been in favour of a webcam. Usually the best theatre in town on these Thursday evenings. But then my favorite TV programme is PMQ's. rhowes
  • Score: 2

9:34am Sat 24 Nov 12

Eric Whim says...

they don't want cameras because it will mean they can't turn up in their hoodies and trackie bottoms
they don't want cameras because it will mean they can't turn up in their hoodies and trackie bottoms Eric Whim
  • Score: 0

10:44am Sat 24 Nov 12

Olivia2847 says...

Nebs wrote:
If the council was a business, they would have been wound up years ago.
Exactly - an obscene waste of our money!
[quote][p][bold]Nebs[/bold] wrote: If the council was a business, they would have been wound up years ago.[/p][/quote]Exactly - an obscene waste of our money! Olivia2847
  • Score: 0

2:29pm Sat 24 Nov 12

Antonius says...

£20,000 a year to run it ?

That would have been a cushy job for someone.

Maybe a friend or relation of one of the councillors ?
£20,000 a year to run it ? That would have been a cushy job for someone. Maybe a friend or relation of one of the councillors ? Antonius
  • Score: 1

10:24pm Sun 25 Nov 12

Lastlaugh... says...

Nebs wrote:
If the council was a business, they would have been wound up years ago.
The council is a business!
[quote][p][bold]Nebs[/bold] wrote: If the council was a business, they would have been wound up years ago.[/p][/quote]The council is a business! Lastlaugh...
  • Score: 0

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