Merton Set To Scrap Webcasting Council Meetings

Local Conservatives want borough council to think again

Merton's Conservative councillors have put down a motion calling on the borough council to think again about scrapping the webcasting of high profile meetings.

It wants them to consider alternative options to maintain this service for residents so they can continue following meetings such as Full Council and the Planning Applications Committee (PAC) without needing to attend.

The Tories say that since its introduction three years ago, webcasting has encouraged greater openness and transparency of council proceedings.

The service is set to be discontinued after the PAC meeting on February 11, despite having 6,232 views in December. But a Conservative motion to continue the service will be discussed at tomorrow’s Full Council meeting (February 3).

Councillor Hamish BadenochCouncillor Hamish Badenoch (left), Conservative Councillor for Village Ward, said: “Merton Labour clearly don’t want anyone to see them making the decisions which affect residents’ everyday lives. They seem to have forgotten they were elected to serve, not to rule.

“December’s Planning Committee meeting was a prime example of how webcasting can open up council proceedings to a larger audience. Without it, all those people tuning in from home to see the decision on AFC Wimbledon’s Plough Lane application or watching on large screens in the Civic Centre would have been left standing outside the packed Council Chamber.   

“Yet Labour councillors still prefer to lavish hundreds of thousands of pounds on their council propaganda machine rather than use a small proportion to maintain webcasting. Whilst their past record on enhancing transparency and democracy is poor, they now have one final chance to listen to residents and embrace greater accountability.”

February 2, 2016