Not being one to have used these forums until lately, it seems that people leave ideas for discussion but then never leave any further replies. I left a comment on thisisbristol and the whole discussion disappeared which seems a bit silly really.
Surely as the decisons made by local council are a matter that involves every person in the town, there should be an open forum for discussion about their decisions and the manner in which they behave. Yet everybody seems to want to avoid these important matters.
If somebody I voted for walks out of a meeting I would like to know why and yet nothing gets reported in Portishead but the same thing happens in Nailsea and it's in the press. So how are people meant to find out, don't the local press send reproters to these meetings?
Oh dear, looks ike anither thread has been hijacked. Why can't people discuss in a mature way. I've fallen into the trap of responding to the bullies who use these sites but not any more. I think that Mrs Stanley and Mrs Hennessey have valid points and surely anybody who cares about what is going on in their town should be wondering what is going on in the council especially after reading the first poster in this topic.
To Jojo my dear fellow, do not fall into the trap of adopting the same low standards of that person you mention who hijacked the Evening Post site for most of the weekend targeting two local ladies who have enlightened my knowledge on various matters. One has even passed me information by email to ensure I have correct material after seeing my contact details on this site left regarding another matter. This resulted in my improved learning about some of the characters recently registered on sites like this just to criticise those with truthful information and who raise genuine concerns about issues. Very sad business and particularly to see that one dislikeable chap who fears pertinent connected comments on this site and The Post is a person who runs a local company.
Apropos using real names or pseudonyms, I have been made aware of information that if one person uses her real name, she becomes the prey of those who accuse her of self-promotion (sound familiar) and one lady has been viciously impersonated many times. If they use a nom de guerre they are targeted for not using their real name by those who also do not use their real name.
If my summary is accurate, I would suggest you all copy this comment with haste before it disappears into the void of Portishead facts that others do not want us to know.
I think you are a troll and afraid to meet me and your Billy Goat Gruff will be along shortly to short you out false accusations will get you nowhere and calling me a moron is not the sort of thing to do on a forum so unless you have something more constructive to say I suggest you say nothing
I realise that some folk do just use these sites to vent their anonymous vitriol but nobody actually answered in favour or against the simple question of whether council meetings should all be recorded. It seems the only places I can get information on council meetings is by using their site where information is very selective, the Life magazine which is very one sided or by the Posset pie website which at least seems to be open and honest about matters. Surely the simple solution for fairness and transaparency would be to simply record meetings. They could even make money from it by selling copies to interested parties.
Hillcran, the ex-clerk of Portishead Town council used to use a small voice recorder to tape meetings, really to back up his own minute writing. Although poor in quality it has in the past been useful to verify comments after accusations regarding what was said or not said during meetings needed verification. The new clerk has said that she does not intend to record meetings, personally I feel that this is a shame as recordings protect both the councillors and the public.
With regard to North Somerset Council, I think that they really missed a trick. Having spent close to £25 million pounds of taxpayers money on the Town Hall at Weston and Castlewood in Clevedon, neither were equipped with any equipment to not only record audibly or a webcam. Other councils (Scilly Isles, Cornwall, Brentwood to name a few) have introduced webcams to allow easy access for all residents to see a meeting. Especially important for those who are disabled, do not have transport, work during hours when meetings take place etc etc. Also a way of displaying your council's intention to be transparent, honest and accessible. Why on earth has it not happened here?
As you point out minutes are an incredibly edited version of events as well as being an archaic form of reporting in this modern world.
Thank you for your informed answer Liese Stanley. It does make you wonder what they feel they cannot share with those of us who pay our council taxes and expect a little transparency. I muts say that for a town that has expanded rapidly the locla councillors still sem to be living in a byegone age. They either need to move with the times and embrace new technology or young blood needs to be found that will take the town forward instead of allowing a few people to hold it back. My husband says that maybe they want to keep thinking of it as a village just so that their role as village idiots doen't disappear. Usually I would not agree but the proof does rather seem to be in the pudding.