Monday, 24 June 2013

Wokingham Borough Council continues to reserve the right to block evidence of councils public promises.

Update 2012-06-25. I filmed the Wokingham Town Center Regeneration forum today. At the Start the Chair, Alistair Corrie, explained the new rules on filming. I was pleased to note that attendees are now expected to accept that filming may be taking place the chair also unless they have a good reason.

Find them at


There is a great institution in this county. Freedom of the press. The right to film in public, to hold those who control the law to account.

The is a problem in this country. Freedom of the press. The ability to hound and publish information that is not in the public interest but instead intended to hurt or shock on a purely personal level.

It is because of that very problem that I offered a contract with my initial request.

1. The recording shared in full. If I wish to draw someones attention to a moment it would be using time reference points. Not an edit, in which the context of which can not be found.

2. The camera would be on the presentation and those who have taken a role where they are accountable to the tax paying public of Wokingham. Even though the public have no right not be filmed in a public place, it is a simple courtesy.

That is it. Public consultations are kept honest and the shy public are protected from stardom.

The council has now come up with their own terms and conditions that are the same as the current ones they use.

"The request must include the following information:

    • The name, organisation and contact details of the applicant making the request
    • What the audio / visual recording will be used for
    • Which meeting this requests refers to
    • How this information will be used

When the information has been received by the communications team, it will consult with the Chairman of the meeting on the detail of the specific request. The Chairman will then decide whether to grant permission, subject to agreement from all those in attendance.

During the meeting
If filming has been permitted, the Chairman will make an announcement at the start of the meeting. .

If the Chairman feels the audio / visual recording is disrupting the meeting in any way or any pre-meeting agreement has been breached the operator of the equipment will be required to stop.

If someone refuses to stop when requested to do so, the Chairman will ask the person to leave the meeting. If the person refuses to leave then the Chairman may adjourn the meeting or make other appropriate arrangements for the meeting to continue without disruption."

This is in no way keeping with the freedom of the press or with the intention of Eric pickles and it is certainly not in keeping a necessary part of accountable governance.

This is also something you will only every get from the Tories in Wokingham who have made it clear you should be seen and not heard and that they have something to hide.

Full council public meeting rules.

e-mail describing executives current state of reluctance to be accountable for what they say.

"The guidelines make it clear that the Secretary of State believes local authorities should, within certain limitations, allow filming of their decision-making meeting, such as Full Council and Executive meetings. Wokingham Borough Council intends to implement this recommendation at the earliest possible opportunity."

Why. What can change.

What is going on surrounding the £1.3 Billion of planning profit that Cllr Keith Baker is negotiating, and the secret finances and ownership details surrounding the £100m contract to change our our commuter market town into a"Business hubb with 18 hour economy" that make our representative prefer that the current batch of meetings are not shared in full unedited?

I have recently been threatened with a law suite by an executive member of our council for accusing them of being mistaken or a liar. He insisted he could not be mistaken, since he makes up the rules. The leader of the opposition vouched for him. 

Update. No letter from the solicitors. Perhaps because I decided to publish the evidence, which is conclusive.

It is very important that our council is not mistaken or lying with what they are negotiating at the moment. If you ever watched CSI or Elementary? I do not need to tell you how this stacks up. I can only hope it is dumb pride and not the next generations mortgages lining already deep pockets.

They could commission the filming themselves. 'No resources.'

I offered to purchase the equipment for them. 'No, but thanks for the offer'

Put an end to the freedom to lie to the public. 28th of August.

1 comment:

  1. Now the DCLG need to enforce these guidelines. Wokingham council should provide an area at the back or side of the meeting rooms where anyone can film without prior permission.

    Also it is not necessary to offer them concessions such as only sharing the full unedited recordings. The whole recording should be available but there is nothing wrong with also showing edited clips and highlights.