PLYMOUTH City Council’s first TriCaster WebCast of a full council meeting on Monday attracted more than 1,000 views, including both the live stream and video archive.
That’s not a bad start by any standards. It’s around 995 more people than usually attend a council meeting, which is an encouraging start to our drive to make the council more open and transparent. We are expecting many more people to view the archive webcast over the coming weeks.
Unfortunately The Herald’s story about this positive move focused mainly on the completely misleading and inaccurate claims made by Cllr Ian Bowyer at the meeting about what other cities had paid for WebCasting meetings via TriCaster. What a shame a genuine attempt to open up democracy in Plymouth and make the council more transparent and accessible is met with such hostility and misinformation from the Conservative Party.
Cllr Bowyer’s claims for the costs in other cities are just not true. Not that it is relevant to Plymouth, but we’ve spoken to the people who provided webcasting in those cities and the real costs were actually a small fraction of what he claimed. Perhaps Cllr Bowyer should stop believing everything he reads in the papers.
I suppose we should expect nothing less from the party that banned the use of social media in the council in case someone said something about them they didn’t like.
Webcasts of council meetings will never compete for audience figures with Eastenders or the Olympics – but that’s not the point. What they can do is enable the people we represent to see what is being said and decided on their behalf. This means they can hold us accountable and have more say in how their city is run.
Leader of Plymouth City Council