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Bexley Council filming a step closer after Constitutional Review Panel thumbs up

PUBLISHED: 11:11 04 September 2013 | UPDATED: 11:11 04 September 2013

Nicholas Dowling with the offending voice recorder

Nicholas Dowling with the offending voice recorder

Archant

Filming at Bexley Council meetings was given the green light last night.

The Constitutional Review Panel voted unanimously in favour of recommending to the next full council meeting on November 6 that members of the public by allowed to film, record or photograph without seeking the council’s prior permission.

The panel also approved plans to webcast council meetings once when it moves to its new home in Watling Street, Bexleyheath, next year.

Bexley had been criticised by Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles for being reluctant to allow meetings to be recorded.

Days later, on June 19, resident Nicholas Dowling was ejected from a scrutiny committee meeting for trying to use a voice recorder and the council has since come under heavy pressure to be more transparent.

The council estimates webcasting 80 hours of footage a year will cost between £14,000 and £20,000.

Do you think this will benefit open democracy? Contact the newsdesk on 0208 477 3858, email robin.cottle@archant.co.uk or tweet @BexleyTimes.

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