Thursday, January 5, 2012

Shame on you Carmarthenshire (ongoing saga)

As anybody reading this will know CarmCC have refused to let me into their public meetings unless I sign an undertaking not to film or record the proceedings; there is no lawful way for them to do this, however their Acting Head of Administration and Law has sent me some waffle by post and when I said that was not good enough she then emailed me the following:

 Dear Mr. Bain,
Thank you for your e-mail.

I consider the introduction of the requirement for members of the public wishing to access the public gallery to first sign an undertaking to be a lawful one, yes. In an ideal world such an undertaking would not be required, but in light of disruption to previous meetings it was considered necessary to introduce some sort of process to avoid future disruption and ensure the smooth running of meetings. You will not find mention of it in the Constitution or Standing Orders because, as I said in my letter of the 5th December, it was a decision taken by officers.

There has never, to my knowledge, been an issue with the press. 

As I have previously told you the whole issue of whether meetings should be filmed is being considered by a Task and Finish Group so the requirement for an undertaking to be signed may change.

Yours faithfully,

Linda Rees-Jones
Acting Head of Administration & Law
And Monitoring Officer

It is interesting that she makes no mention of consulting the people who are nominally in charge of the Council!