Worcestershire councils welcomes new reporting legislation to make them more open

Worcestershire councils welcomes new reporting legislation to make them more open

Worcestershire councils welcomes new reporting legislation to make them more open

First published in Local

MEMBERS of the public can now film, record and blog from live council meetings as new legislation rules aim at making them more accountable.

The Openness of Local Government Regulations 2014 aims to end active resistance among some councils for greater openness and Worcestershire County, Bromsgrove District, Redditch Borough and Wychavon District councils will all be subject to the new legislation.

Before local government was brought into the 21st century with the new law, it was only members of the press which were allowed to take notes during a council meeting under Margaret Thatcher's ''right to report' law, but now any members of the public can film, record sound, live blog and even tweet from all public meetings, including town, parish, city and county councils, and fire and rescue authorities.

Local Government Secretary, Eric Pickles, said: "Half a century ago, Margaret Thatcher championed a new law to allow the press to make written reports of council meetings. We have updated her analogue law for a digital age.

"There is now no excuse for any council not to allow these new rights. Parliament has changed the law, to allow a robust and healthy local democracy. This will change the way people see local government, and allow them to view close up the good work that councillors do."

Councillor Adrian Hardman, leader of the county council, said the council was already very transparent and open in its democratic process as several of their meetings were already webcast live.

The authority will be providing appropriate protocol ahead of their next meeting.

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