Hartlepool council meetings could be posted online

A meeting in Hartlepool council chamber.
A meeting in Hartlepool council chamber.

Councillors will consider whether to film meetings of the authority later this week.

A report on the potential costs of videoing meetings of Hartlepool Borough Council has been prepared and will be discussed by the Finance and Policy Committee on Friday.

It follows a motion proposed by council leader Christopher Akers-Belcher and passed by the full council in June.

It called for the filming of full council meetings to be investigated to ensure council business is conducted with dignity and encourages open democracy.

The council has also looked into the possibility of filming all of its public meetings after receiving a petition.

In a report, authority chief executive Gill Alexander says the “unprecedented” budget challenges faced by the council will require it to allow the public to be engaged in understanding the choices it faces.

She added: “Over the past 12 months concerns have been expressed from both elected members and members of the public in respect of the conduct of council meetings in the chamber.

“This has been a matter of concern to myself and the monitoring officer.”

The report says the filming of full council meetings could be done with a one-off cost of £2,500 using one camera before being uploaded to the council’s website.

Members of the public would still be allowed to make their own recordings.

It adds the broadcasting all public meetings would cost £50,000 up front for equipment and adaptations to meeting rooms and then annual costs of £30,000 a year.