The Assembly passed an Alliance amendment in March this year which ensured that the full Council meetings of the new super Councils would be recorded and placed on the Council’s website. However, the Assembly rejected another Alliance proposal that committees would also be recorded.
Cllr Michael Long said: “Earlier this year, the Assembly passed an Alliance amendment which ensured that the full Council meetings of the new super Councils would be recorded and then placed on the Council’s website. This was a great victory for openness and transparency, but it did not include committee meetings.
“Alliance believes that committee meetings open to the public should be audio and potentially video recorded where possible, which would then be published on the Council’s website.
“As the new Councils are given greater powers, especially surrounding planning, I think it is important in the interests of openness and transparency, that the public can have access to a record of what their elected representatives are saying and deciding in committee meetings.
“I hope that by supporting this proposal, Belfast will again lead the way in this matter and be a model of openness and transparency as it has done before.
“I can think of no real good reason for the committees not to be recorded with the only potential issue being that of cost. I have spoken to Council officers and it is unlikely that an audio recording would have much of a financial impact. My colleague Councillor Carole Howard has discovered that a system installed in an English Council cost the princely sum of £160.”
Motion to be debated at the Belfast shadow Council on Tuesday
In order to increase openness and transparency, so far as is reasonably practicable, this Council will make an audio and potentially video recording of so much of any Committee meeting of the Council as is open to the public and the recordings will be made available to the public at its Hall and published on the Council website.