Town Hall censorship: Lib Dems demand meeting webcast is reinstated

February 1, 2013 8:47 AM

Residents and opposition councillors have reacted angrily to the decision to remove the webcast of the Environment Panel where Conservative councillors insulted opposition members and eventually walked out, leaving five opposition members to conclude the meeting.

Lib Dem leader Cllr David Kendall has now written to the council's managing director (see letter below), who made the decision whilst away from the office, and demanded it is reinstated.

Hi Alison

I am sorry to bother you again when you are away from the office but as I am unsure who is deputising for you in your abscence I have decided to come to you direct.

I am now formally demanding as the Leader of the Opposition that the webcast recording of the Environmental Panel meeting is reinstated immediately. If you are not able to make this decision whilst you are away then your Deputy should be empowered to make it for you.

Whilst I am pleased to hear that you are going to mount a full investigation into what went on at the Environmental Panel meeting I can see no justification whatsoever for your decision to take the webcast recording down. The webcast is a factual public record of what happened at the Environment Panel meeting and the Liberal Democrat group believe our residents are perfectly entitled to see it.

The Council has talked alot about openess and transparency but the webcast decision makes a complete mockery of that claim. Why should our residents not have access to the webcast today and over the weekend?

Please would you reconsider your decision?

If you are not prepared to reconsider your decision please could you clearly explain to me why not and also confirm wether your decision on the webcast has had any member involvement.

Thank you

Cllr David Kendall

Leader of the Opposition, Brentwood Borough Council

Borough Councillor, Pilgrims Hatch ward

County Councillor, Brentwood South Division