Broadcasting Hampshire County Council meetings

Daily Echo
23rd February 2012

LIGHTS, camera action....

Hampshire county chiefs will be filmed for the first time today as they vote on £45m of cuts.

The Conservative- led council will debate a council tax freeze for the third year running and a further 230 job losses.

The council has said televising meetings will boost democracy as voters will be able to watch on the Internet as councillors debate and decide issues.

But the move has been attacked as a “vanity project”

and a waste of taxpayer’s money.

As previously reported, the local authority has forked out £223,000 on the project, including installing cameras in the council chamber.

Meetings will be screened live and recorded on the council website.

Councillor Keith House, pictured, leader of the Liberal Democrats, said: “This is vanity spending at a time when the county Conservatives are slashing services to vulnerable people, hiking charges and axing more staff.”

Christine Melsom, founder of anti-council tax group IsItFair, predicted few people would tune in to watch and it would become a “white elephant.”

But Councillor Colin Davidovitz, pictured, Cabinet member for efficiency and communication, said: “At long last we have the facilities that will enable us to televise our meetings and allow the people of Hampshire to watch on their home computers or laptops as their representatives debate local issues and decide on policies which are taking place.”

Winchester and Eastleigh will also decide their council tax today.

[Go to original article]