A prominent Ipswich blogger has launched a campaign to get Ipswich Borough Council to webcast Full Council meetings, hoping they will follow in the footsteps of Brighton & Hove Council, Maidstone Borough Council, Leicester City Council and Thanet District Council.
Former Ipswich Borough Councillor Gavin Maclure, whose blog Gavin Maclure’s Musings is a constant source of amusement for politico’s in Ipswich and beyond, has been pressing for more transparency from the council for many months now.
He successfully persuaded the Borough Council to end the preferential treatment of the printed papers, which he refers to by the common moniker, the dead tree press. He championed coverage on blogs and on twitter, even remonstrating with his party colleagues when they questioned the use of twitter by councillors during meetings.
Now he has taken on the Borough heirarchy over the webcasting of the council meetings. In a strident post he says he sees this as an issue of democracy. “If it wasn’t for three bloggers who plan to be in attendance, including myself, the Ipswich public would hardly know anything of the decisions that will be made in their name by councillors next week.”
He adds that, although he disagrees with council leader David Ellesmere, he thinks that “his every utterance in his role as a councillor should be heard by as many Ipswich residents as possible.”
Mr Maclure points out that four other local authorities are already webcasting their council meetings, and although he doesn’t mention it even Suffolk County Council put an audio recording of their meetings online nowadays. Given the number of prominent councillors with experience in the IT industry – two current councillors work for telecoms giant BT out at Adastral Park – it really is surprising that Ipswich lags behind other councils. Two of the council who already webcast are Labour controlled, one is Conservative controlled and one is controlled by the Green Party.
Filed under: Ipswich Borough Council, Media, On line presence Tagged: | Adastral Park, Brighton & Hove City Council, BT, David Ellesmere, Gavin Maclure, Ipswich Borough Council, Leicester City Council, Maidstone Borough Council, Thanet District Council