Aras Chill Dara
Kildare County Council has voted 21-12 against a proposal from one of its own committees over the use of cameras its public meetings.
At its April 29 meeting last Monday in Naas, the Council’s protocol committee recommended changing standing order No 21, to say that “no cameras of any kind or sound recording or communication equipment may be used at meetings of the council, other than the council’s own recording equipment, without the prior approval of the council.”
Up to now the council has ruled out the televising of any of its meetings.
In a report to members, senior executive officer, Maura McIvor, said this was a matter for the members to agree and if agreed, will form part of the standing orders being brought to the incoming council for approval.
Cllr Padraig McEvoy said he was concerned they were tweaking a policy area and asked why the council would record members. He proposed that the matter be considered “in total” by the new council elected after May 24.
Cllr Suzanne Doyle said they should debate it in the round.
Cllr Reada Cronin said there should be live streaming of council meetings but only Kildare County Council equipment should be allowed to do that.
Cllr Fiona McLoughlin Healy said that a lot of work went into the proposal and they had got an approximate costing on webcasting.
The proposal was defeated after a roll call vote.
Cllr McLoughlin Healy expressed her disappointment at the decision.
Prior to the meeting she had said: "After five years as a councillor I believe that the recording and webcasting of council meetings would significantly improve the accountability, behaviour and performance of your local councillors and council officials."
She said she had been lobbying on this issue for over three years.