Proposals to make council webcasting compulsory

The Welsh government has announced new proposals to make council webcasting of meetings compulsory.

The news comes after a grant of £1.25 million was provided to councils in 2013 to install equipment in council chambers to allow them to broadcast meetings online. However, not all councils stream meetings. Mark Drakeford, cabinet secretary for local government, has confirmed that ’18 out of 22 local authorities are broadcasting their council meetings to some extent’.

Drakeford has now proposed to make the practice a ‘statutory requirement’ as part of a package of proposals on local government reform, which ministers are currently consulting on.

Responding to the proposal, the Welsh Local Government Association warned that longer-term IT and administrative costs for web-casting ‘will be considerable’ and will need to be balanced against ‘prioritising front-line services’.

A Welsh Government spokesman said: "Progress has been made with the help of a single grant payment provided to local authorities but we now need to take this a step further."

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