'James Bond' jibe as Cleveland police and crime panel rejects proposal to live stream meetings after Hartlepool council leader raises concerns

Members of the Cleveland Police and Crime Panel have rejected a proposal to live stream their meetings on the internet after Hartlepool’s council leader was among those to raise concerns.

Thursday, 7th October 2021, 1:05 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th October 2021, 3:37 pm
PCC Steve Turner. Photograph by Stuart Boulton.

The proposal to stream meetings online was put forward by Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner Steve Turner, whose work is scrutinised by the panel.

Mr Turner said it would allow more people to watch proceedings in real time and increase the accountability of the panel and the Commissioner to the communities they served.

But Hartlepool Council leader Shane Moore said live streaming brought “added complexities” and there were additional cost implications and there were other ways to ensure the public could view the meetings.

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He said: “It would be simpler and cheaper to record the meetings and publish them online at a later date.

“It would still allow the public to see what goes on.”

Stockton Councillor Steve Nelson suggested there would not be huge demand to watch the meetings online, but they could be made available.

He said: “You are not going to challenge James Bond with the viewing figures, but it can be there if people want it.”

Other members expressed concern about comments being potentially posted by the public during live streams and whether these would need to be monitored and moderated.

The meeting heard that any costs, in the shape of a camera and microphones, would likely have to be met by the four local councils in Cleveland, and it was agreed to explore this possibility.

Stockton Councillor Norma Stephenson was also among those concerned about costs getting passed on to cash-strapped councils and council tax payers in the areas’s Mr Turner serves.

She said: “We need the costings first and we aren’t in a position to say Stockton Council will pay for it.”

Panel chairman Councillor Tony Riordan suggested the next meeting in November could be recorded as a trial, but the contributing local authorities needed to be asked if they would contribute to the cost.

He added: “There are issues with live streaming, but we have to encourage the public to look at what we are doing.”

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