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Gloucestershire Business News

Local council to livestream meetings for all

Tewkesbury Borough Council is moving forward with plans to introduce webcasting for council and committee meetings, taking proactive steps to enhance the accessibility and transparency of its decision-making processes.

The decision to adopt the technology was approved at the full council meeting last night, Tuesday, June 20. This means in future the council can provide residents and interested parties with convenient online access to observe proceedings, enhancing community engagement and public awareness of the democratic process.

Webcasting will enable the council to livestream council and committee meetings over the internet, allowing a wider audience to conveniently participate from any location. The webcasting solution will provide viewers with an enriched experience, including subtitles, speaker identification and a live agenda display. Webcasted events will also be recorded and made available for public viewing at any time in the future, widening public engagement and further promoting transparency and accountability.

Councillor Richard Stanley, Tewkesbury Borough Council leader, said: "I am very pleased that our new Council has agreed to embrace webcasting to make it easier for the public to see our decision-making. This is an important step in making our Council more open, transparent, and accessible.

"It is vital that residents, no matter where they are, can see that their council is working for them."

Cllr Chris Coleman, Tewkesbury Borough Council's lead member for corporate governance, said: "I welcome the introduction of webcasting as our residents deserve to be informed and involved, and it will allow us to enhance our engagement with the public and bridge the gap between physical meetings and the digital world. It's an exciting step towards a more inclusive and transparent Tewkesbury Borough community."

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the government temporarily allowed remote Council meetings, which proved popular among the public. The borough council found more people actively engaged in public meetings such as the planning committee.

The introduction of webcasting will provide the public with increased access to the council's proceedings, ensuring their voices are heard and promoting a stronger, more inclusive Tewkesbury Borough community. It helps to make democracy more accessible for people with disabilities and other sections of the community who may be unable to attend meetings in person.

Punchline-Gloucester.com welcomes this move. Not only will it make meeting content and information more accessible, open and transparent for all in the community, but it also provides an efficient process for businesses to tune in without putting more cars on the road and spending valuable company and staff time. We are interested to hear if the other councils plan to follow Tewkesbury. We hope so.

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