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Filming of Parish Council meetings

Filming of Parish Council meetings: the law since August 2014

As reported at the time in the SPCA “Bulletin” (the issues dated 7th August and 14th August 2014 refer) the Government made the Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2014, pursuant to the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014, effective from 6th August 2014. The rules were changed to make councils, including parish and town councils, and other local government bodies such as fire and rescue authorities, more transparent and accountable to their local communities.

The key change was that the Regulations conferred on the public the right to film and report, using digital and social media, all those meetings of parish and town councils which are open to the public.

It appears that one or two councils are still under the impression that they can deny members of the general public the right to film proceedings. However, DCLG guidance confirms that the photographing, recording, filming or other reporting of a meeting of the Council and its committees (which includes e.g. using a mobile phone or tablet, recording for a TV/radio broadcast, providing commentary on blogs, web forums, or social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube) which enable a person not at the meeting to see, hear or be given commentary about the meeting is permitted unless

  • the meeting has resolved to hold all or part of the meeting without the public present, or
  • such activities disrupt the proceedings, or
  • the following conditions apply:-
  • The photographing, recording, filming or other reporting of a child or vulnerable adult at a Council or committee meeting is not permitted unless an adult responsible for them has given permission.
  • Oral reporting or commentary about a Council or committee meeting by a person who is present at the meeting is not permitted.

The Association has a model “Media Policy” that councils should consider adopting in order that they can respond accordingly when members of the public choose to exercise their rights under the Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2014.

Mobile & Travelling Library: Consultation

Mobile and Travelling Library consultation

A public consultation on initial proposals to reshape Staffordshire’s Mobile and Travelling Library Service started on Wednesday, 1st July. Initial proposals have been considered by the Prosperous Staffordshire Select Committee and the county council’s Cabinet. Permission has been granted to move towards a full public, partner and stakeholder communication consultation on the proposed changes.  The consultation will last nine weeks and will close at midnight on Wednesday 2nd September.

The principles for the Mobile and Travelling Library Service review are to prioritise those in greatest need whilst maximising access to a library service across the county.

The county council is proposing that the mobile and travelling libraries visit locations that are:

  • two miles away from a static library,
  • or currently receive three or more visitors or
  • where there are people in greatest need.

Each community identified as needing a Mobile or Travelling Library Service will receive one Mobile or Travelling Library stop at least once every 3 weeks. The length of time the library stops for will be determined by the level of use at that stop.

The consultation, which has been informed by national guidance and current best practice, is designed to ascertain people’s views on the principles, the proposed stops and will explore people’s ideas for alternatives.

In addition to the Mobile and Travelling Library consultation, a previously approved review of opening hours will also be held over the same period at Tamworth, Newcastle, Burton, Lichfield and Penkridge libraries. This consultation will conclude a review of opening hours for all of the council managed and delivered libraries across the county.

People can put forward their views in a number of different ways including online via email, online survey or social media, or via paper survey in any Staffordshire library.

More information is available at  or

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