Filming to be allowed at meetings of town council

Whitby Museum''w131404
Whitby Museum''w131404

Councillors walked out of a meeting of Whitby Town Council in protest on Tuesday evening.

The council were debating whether to allow members of the public to film discussions taking place during public meetings.

Vox pops''w140717a

Vox pops''w140717a

Various councillors expressed fears that council debates could be manipulated by video editing software with malicious intent.

As a result, councillors Norma Wilson and Dennis Collins left the meeting in protest.

“It hurts me to have to leave,” said Cllr Collins, while Cllr Wilson added: “As town councillors we give our time for free and that doesn’t mean we are going to open ourselves up to humiliation.”

The council resolved that they would keep a video record of council meetings, which would be streamed online in their entirety for the purposes of transparency and openness.

Cllr Niall Carson said: “If it suggests that someone puts my words into someone else’s mouth or we ended up singing a rap or something else ridiculous, we can say have a look on our website as the entire video is on there and you can make your own mind up.”

The group of residents who appealed for the council to be filmed left the meeting after the proposal was decided.

The group had not been seen at council meetings for some time and left when they were no longer the topic of discussion, when other important matters relating to the improvement of the town were being discussed by the council.