Public could be allowed to Tweet and Blog during Council meetings

People attending council meetings in Amber Valley will be able to Facebook and Tweet during the meetings if rules about use of social media are relaxed.  A report to Council is recommending new guidelines from the Government allowing people to blog, Facebook or Tweet during the  public parts of the Borough Council's meetings from Full Council to Cabinet to Planning Committee. 

Existing guidelines restrict open filming in Council meetings but new guidelines from the Department for Communities and Local Government mean that those rules could  be relaxed within reason so people can even film or record during the meetings as long as they don't cause an interruption to normal proceedings.  The aim of the change is  to make Council meetings more transparent and open to the general public, although it will remain at the Chairman of the meetings discretion to call a halt if the use of the social media or filming causes a disruption to the meeting.

Councillor Stuart Bradford, Leader of Amber Valley Borough Council said: "We're simply considering new guidelines from the Government that could encourage greater transparancy in the democratic process, which has to be  positive move.  We're not suggesting people turn up with a film crew but the use of mobile phones, for example, to write blogs or send Tweets or Facebook updates could be welcome, as long as they do not have an adverse impact on the conduct of the meeting."

Notes to editors

If the guidelines are adopted and the recommendations adopted the Council's public information sheet on the conduct of meetings will be updated accordingly.

Further information can be found at www.ambervalley.gov.uk

Reference: Standards for England Report from the Department for Communities and Local Governement.

For further information please contact Luke Barrett Communications Manager on 01773 841 655 or email luke.barrett@ambervalley.gov.uk

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