HYTHE AND DIBDEN PARISH COUNCIL
RECORDING AND USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA AT COUNCIL MEETINGS
GUIDANCE FOR MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC
1. The Council supports the principles of openness and transparency in its decision making. It supports the video or audio recording by the public and press of meetings that are open to the public, for either live or subsequent broadcast. It also supports the use of modern communication methods such as Twitter, Facebook and blogs to report what is happening at meetings as they take place.
2. This guidance note sets out some general information intended to help members of the public who may be intending to report on meetings, either by recording them for simultaneous or later broadcast, or via social media. Anyone wishing to take advantage of these facilities is encouraged to telephone or email the Clerk to the Council (whose name and contact details will appear on the agenda) before the meeting, so that arrangements can be discussed in advance.
FILMING, PHOTOGRAPHY AND RECORDING
4. The right to film, record etc. is limited to the duration of the meeting. Recording must not start until the meeting is called to order, and must cease when the Chairman closes the meeting.
5 Filming or recording equipment cannot be left in the meeting room at times when the public is excluded (for example because confidential or exempt information is being discussed).
6. Intrusive filming of a specific individual or individuals will not be permitted.
7. Some members of the public attending the meeting may object to being filmed, photographed or recorded. The Council will ask those filming, photographing or recording the meeting to respect their wishes, and will expect that these are complied with.
8. The Council expects that film or audio recordings will not be edited before transmission in a way that misrepresents what occurred.
9. Filming or recording is not permitted if the effect would be to interrupt or disturb the proceedings. This means that, for example:
a. Oral commentary is not permitted.
b. Equipment which needs setting up must be in place when the meeting starts.
c. Excessive noise, intrusive lighting, and the use of flash photography are not permitted.
d. Speakers must not be asked to repeat statements for the purpose of recording.
e. “Roaming” while filming or recording is not permitted – those operating equipment must stay in the area designated to them.
This list is not exhaustive. If, in the Chairman’s opinion, a person filming or recording a meeting or taking photographs is interrupting proceedings or causing a disturbance, under the Council’s Standing Orders the person can be ordered to stop their activity, or to leave the meeting.
REPORTING VIA SOCIAL MEDIA
10. Blogging, Tweeting, or other commentary on meetings through social media must not interrupt or disturb the meeting. The same rules apply as set out in paragraph 9 above.