15 July 2022
Powys County Council’s cabinet is committed to open and transparent democracy and is looking for technological solutions to broadcasting more of its meetings live.
Council Leader, Councillor James Gibson-Watt said the cabinet wanted to be as accessible as possible but needed to find solutions that could support bilingual discussion as well as all democratic processes at a sustainable cost.
“Working in a digital way has brought new challenges that could not have been imagined in the past. Some of the new technology gives us the ability to have bilingual debate but cannot accommodate voting while others have less flexibility, which is not acceptable,” said Councillor Gibson-Watt.
“Although we are currently exceeding Welsh Government’s requirements on live broadcasting of council meetings, with coverage of full council and the cabinet we feel strongly that we should extend this to all scrutiny and planning meetings, but it will come at a cost.
“The previous cabinet took the decision to fund the Zoom system which has limited the live broadcasts available to us. The current Cabinet will look at what can be done to allow live broadcasting, including for hybrid meetings which add a new level of complexity, as widely as possible, as soon as possible. However, it is clear that there is no complete solution for all the requirements.
“Public accessibility is a cornerstone of the Progressive Partnership that the council should operate in as open and transparent manner as possible,” he added.