Parish Council Meetings

Wilsden Parish Council welcomes members of the public and press at all of its meetings; we are keen to encourage community involvement in the work of the parish council.

You will see attached, rules for attending Wilsden Parish Council meetings. Please take some time to read through the rules.

Please note there is a 20 minute slot in full parish council meetings for members of the public to make comments about items on the agenda, or to raise relevant matters affecting the parish. Public comment is restricted to this 20 minute slot as parish council meetings are open to the public but are not public meetings. 

Rules for the Effective Management of Recording at Wilsden Parish Council Meetings

The right to record, film and to broadcast meetings of the Wilsden Parish Council meetings, its committees, sub committees and any joint committees is established under the Openness of Local Government Regulations 2014.  This is in addition to the rights of the press and public to attend such meetings.

Wilsden Parish Council is committed to being open and transparent in the way it conducts its decision making.  For the purpose of this policy the term “record” means any form of audio, visual or electronic recording.  Such recording is permitted under the lawful direction of Wilsden Parish Council.

Wilsden Parish Council understands that some members of the public attending its meetings may not wish to be recorded and the Chairman of the meeting will facilitate this by ensuring that any such request will be respected by those making a recording.  Any member of the public who does not wish to be recorded should make this known to the Clerk or the Chairman prior to the commencement of the meeting.

The rules that Wilsden Parish Council will apply are:

Wlsden Parish Council will display requirements as to filming, recording and broadcasting at its meeting venues and on its website and on notice boards in the parish and those undertaking these activities will be deemed to have accepted them whether they have read them or not.

A copy of these rules will be provided to members of the public in attendance at a meeting of Wilsden Parish Council whether they wish to film or not at the meeting.  The Chairman may also verbally remind the meeting and all present of the freedom to record but these rules are in place to enable any type of recording to take place with minimal disruption to the council meeting.

Any person wishing to record a meeting in any format whatsoever is encouraged (but not compelled) to contact the Clerk prior to the start of the meeting.  The Clerk’s details are set out in the public notice and agenda of the meeting (or in his/her absence, the contact will be the Chairman of Wilsden Parish Council).  Discussing requirements with the Clerk beforehand will help ensure that the council provides reasonable facilities to meet the needs of the person that is recording.

The person making the recording may move around, however, in doing so she/he must ensure that there is minimal disruption to the proceedings of the meeting.

A person or persons recording the Wilsden Parish Council meeting are reminded that the “Public Participation” period may not be part of the formal meeting and they should take legal advice for themselves as to their rights to make any recording during that period.

Where the press and public are excluded from a meeting or part of a meeting owing to the confidential nature of the business to be transacted, recording of that meeting or that part of the meeting will not be permitted.

The specific filming of children or young people under the age of 18 who are present at the meeting cannot take place unless their parents/guardians have given their written consent.  This provision also applies to vulnerable adults, whereby the consent of a responsible adult is required for recording, i.e. a medical professional, carer or legal guardian.  Where permission is given, filming of these people can take place.

The council requests that all recording is overt (i.e. clearly visible to anyone at the meeting) but cannot compel those who are recording to do so.

The use of digital and social media recording tools, for example Twitter, blogging or audio recording are allowed as long as this type of recording is carried out in a non-disruptive way and only to the extent that it does not interfere with any person’s ability, even where he or she has a disability, to follow the debate.

A person or persons making a recording has no right to interrupt a Wilsden Parish Council meeting by asking questions or making comments.  The person recording has no right to ask councillors, officers or any members of the public who have been given permission to contribute orally to the meeting to repeat a statement for the purposes of the recording.

The Chairman of the meeting has absolute discretion to stop or suspend recording if, in his/her opinion, continuing to do so would prejudice proceedings at the meeting or if the person recording is in breach of these rules.

Persons who are recording are requested not to leave equipment unattended where possible and are responsible for their equipment at all times.

The recording and reporting on meetings of Wilsden Parish Council is subject to the law and it is the responsibility of those doing the recording and reporting to ensure compliance.  This will include the Human Rights Act, the Data Protection Act and the laws of libel and defamation.  The Council expects that the recording should not be edited in a way that could lead to misinterpretation or misrepresentation of the proceedings or infringement of Wilsden Parish Council’s values or in a way that ridicules or shows a lack of respect for those in the recording.  Wilsden Parish Council would expect any recording in breach of these rules to be removed from public view.  Wilsden Parish Council will have no liability for material published by any other person unless it is itself undertaking the publication through its offices.

For the benefit of those who wish to record – where the recording device being used involves equipment which is larger than a smart phone, tablet or compact camera or if the person recording has other special requirements she/he is requested to please contact the Clerk prior to the meeting so that reasonable arrangements can be made.  The use of lighting for filming/flash photography will usually be allowed provided it does not adversely impact on the ability of others present to view the meeting, or for reasons of health, where the council may require that such lighting is not used or is reduced to a level which does not adversely affect other people.  The lighting must not cause any  other form of disruption.

Wilsden Parish Council may itself photograph, film, record or broadcast meetings and can retain, use or dispose of such material in accordance with its retention and disposal policies.  Where a council proposes to record all of its own meetings it will be bound by this policy.

Where Wilsden Parish Council proposes to record all of its own meetings, it will resolve how long such recordings will be kept and how members of the public may obtain copies.  Wilsden Parish Council will include such recordings within its Publication Scheme.

Wilsden Parish Council is not liable for the actions of any person making a recording at a council meeting which identifies a member of the public or for any publication of that recording.

The minutes of a council meeting remain the statutory and legally binding formal record of council decisions.

Date of revised policy adoption 23rd September 2019