South West Wales

Carmarthenshire council urged to allow meeting filming

Video camera
Image caption The vast majority of councils in Wales do not allow their meetings to be filmed

Ruling members of a council which called police to eject a blogger recording one of its meetings are being urged to allow filming in the future.

Carmarthenshire council's executive will consider a motion calling for the public to be allowed to film meetings.

Jacqui Thompson of Llanwrda was arrested in June when she refused repeated requests to stop.

The council says it has a task group looking at the issue as part of a wider review of new technology.

Monmouthshire was found by the BBC Wales news website to be the only one of the 22 local authorities in Wales to currently allow people to film its meetings.

Councillors in Pembrokeshire will consider the issue next month.

A few councils such as Powys say they have no specific policy so if someone did want to film it would be up to the individual committee chairman.

But the vast majority do not allow their meetings to be filmed.

Carmarthen councillor Arthur Davies has submitted the motion to Monday's meeting in Carmarthenshire.

He said any member of the public should be allowed to record meetings from the public gallery as long as they are not disruptive.

He also believes the council itself should record meetings, either on video or using the existing sound recording system in the council chamber.

He told BBC Wales: "Part of our role as councillors should be to try and get the public more involved.

"I think we should be transparent and I don't think there's any excuse really for not allowing the public to film."

In June Mrs Thompson was arrested after she refused repeated requests to stop filming a meeting at which the closure of day centres was being discussed.

Video streaming

The 49-year-old community councillor has been writing a blog in which she has been critical of Carmarthenshire council since 2009.

Her arrest sparked debate online and among national media commentators.

Carmarthenshire council said it has since launched a review of the use of new technology in the way it provides services to residents.

One of the issues the committee is looking at is the possibility of video streaming council meetings via the council's website.

A spokeswoman said: "Filming at public meetings will be considered by them as part of this work."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites