Guildhall meetings to be streamed online vows Northampton Borough Council

Those interested in local democracy will soon be able to stream Northampton Borough Council meetings at home.
Those interested in local democracy will soon be able to stream Northampton Borough Council meetings at home.

Northampton Borough Council has resolved to start live-streaming its meetings "at the earliest opportunity" to bring it in line with its County Hall neighbours.

Laws used to prohibit images and recordings being taken in council meetings, but the introduction of the Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations Act in August 2014 changed that.

Since then Northamptonshire County Council has been webcasting its meetings online, allowing members of the public to keep an eye on crucial debates from the comfort of their homes.

And Northampton Borough Council now looks set to follow suit, after councillors passed a motion in favour of the idea on Monday night.

The amended Labour motion received unanimous approval and read: "This council resolves to introduce the webcasting of official borough council meetings, including cabinet, committee and scrutiny meetings that are open to the public at the earliest opportunity."

Councillor Zoe Smith, (Lab, Abington) who proposed the motion, said the move will be a boost for local democracy.

She said: “I am really pleased that we have agreed to allow webcasting of all our important meetings.

"The county council have been doing this for a few years and it is has worked really well.

"As a council we need to be as open and transparent as possible.

"Not every resident can come to a council meeting and not every resident wants to watch the whole meeting and so this is a great way to better connect with the general public.

"I am really pleased the council voted in favour of the motion and hopefully we can get it started in the next few months."