Report says Newham Council should allow meetings to be filmed

Newham Town Hall in East Ham.

Newham Town Hall in East Ham. - Credit: Archant

Residents may be able to film council meetings in the future following Goverment advice to make councillors and officers more accountable.

A legal report, due to go before Newham Council on Monday July 15, recommends councillors agree to change rules banning any sound or video recording during meetings.

Article Four of the Council’s Constitution currently bans placards, filming, recording, and photography during meetings unless it is for taking minutes or helping public participation such as broadcasting in overspill rooms when the public gallery is full.

But guidance issued by the Department for Communities and Local Government last month advised Councils to allow residents to film elected representatives and council officers in the public arena because they “should expect to be held accountable for their comments and votes at these meetings”.

The report suggests councillors should allow filming of Council, Cabinet, and Committee meetings as long as the Chair is told at the start and it takes place when members of the public are allowed to attend in person.

The Council is also asked to change another part of the Constitution to allow mobile phones to be switched to “silent” mode during meetings instead of being turned off.

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