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Posted by: John Brace | 7th September 2017

Wirral Council asks for bids on £275,000 contract for broadcasting its public meetings

Wirral Council asks for bids on £275,000 contract for broadcasting its public meetings

                                      

Cllr Phil Davies speaking about Labour's Budget (Budget Council, 6th March 2017)

Cllr Phil Davies speaking about Labour’s Budget (Budget Council, 6th March 2017)

At Wirral Council’s Budget meeting in March 2017, included in Labour‘s budget was £225,000 for a webcasting/audio/electronic voting replacement described as “webcasting for committee meetings”.

At the time, the Liberal Democrats opposed this. They stated in their Budget that they believed “that this item should be withdrawn until the costs have been fully investigated and the benefits have been fully assessed and justified.”

In August Wirral Council published two notices in the Official Journal of the European Union. The first notice was published on 23rd August 2017, followed by a change to accept variants. By this point the price had gone up to £275,000 (excluding VAT).

Wirral Council came up with a webcasting Invitation To Tender which asks for the submission of tenders by 12 noon on the 20th September 2017.

11.9.17 ED: Since this article was published, Wirral Council have extended the date for the submission of tenders to noon on the 4th October 2017.

25.9.17 ED: Since this article was published, Wirral Council have extended the date again for the submission of tenders to noon on the 3rd November 2017.

In Wirral Council’s invitation to tender it states, “it must also be fully compatible with the Mod Gov case management solution: http://www.moderngov.co.uk/.

According to the technical information on the Mod Gov case management solution, Public-i and Media on Demand are the only two video webcasting solutions integrated to it.

The contract also requests an electronic voting system for public meetings of all Wirral Council councillors in the Council Chamber. In response to a question, Wirral Council stated that the current system of counting votes by which councillors had their hands up was “unreliable”.

If Wirral Council accepts one of the bids, the contract is expected to start on April 1st 2018 and run for three years.

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Responses

  1. May I predict a foreseeable and avoidable scandal / fiasco along the same lines as York City Council / Gwen Swinburn at some point once the contract is up and running? (worth a Google folks…!!)

    The historical record shows that these crooks, amateurs and incompetents are desperate to conceal, contrive, control and confound at every turn. The successful bidder can expect to be signing a contract that permits some crook to elbow them out of the way, intervene and change the record in order to amend, delete, insert or do anything in order to apply a coat of gloss to the outgoing public message.

    Liptrot will probably be involved in serving up whatever thin, tedious gruel is deemed acceptable once it’s been through the council’s hideous spin machine.

    This. Eventuality. Was. Predicted. Here.

    Thanks John.

    • I think that’s covered in the Invitation to Tender where it states, “Alongside the archive capability, the solution must provide for:

      Post production editing”

      My reading of that is that Wirral Council want the ability to edit the video of a meeting after it is published.

  2. Well I’ve heard it all now, putting one’s hand up to vote is unreliable!
    Wirral is falling apart, services cut, litter all over the place, lights out, streets flooded, grass never cut, over hanging trees on and on and on, and they have £250 thousand to waste on this!

    • In reference to the counting of votes at Council meetings.

      In total there are 66 councillors on Wirral Council, at the last meeting there were around 61 of them.

      So when there’s a vote, the Mayor asks for councillors to vote either in favour, against or to abstain by putting their hand up (although there are certain situations where they read out each person’s name instead and the councillor verbally indicates which way they will vote called a card vote).

      Those that work in the democratic services part of Wirral Council, then add up the numbers of councillors with their hands up for each vote, write it down and hand it to the Mayor. The Mayor then announces the numbers of votes in favour, against and abstaining.

      There have been times when councillors have asked for the votes to be counted again as the number of votes announced is different to the number that actually voted.

      However, I think that from the view of the public at a public meeting, seeing which way a councillor puts their hand up shows them which way they have voted is a good thing.

      If the voting was all done electronically (apart from the times a card vote is required), how would people know which way a councillor voted as they wouldn’t have to raise their hand and the way they voted wouldn’t be recorded in the minutes (just the total number of people who voted a certain way)?

  3. Obviously it would be too tempting for the rogues at Brighton St to edit their output, but I wonder if unedited footage of meetings in their entirety would be accessible under FOI?

    • It depends on how the editing was done.

      Scenario 1

      The meeting was recorded in its entirety, then edited after (so you end up with an original and edited version).

      Scenario 2

      If the editing was done when the recording was actually done (for example deliberately not recording a Youtube video shown or some copyrighted music). In this case the part of the meeting that had been edited out wouldn’t be able to be released in response to a FOI request as Wirral Council wouldn’t have it.

  4. We NEED to know how these councillors vote.

    Currently, the likes of Janette Williamson, former bogus “Marxist”, appears to be backing her hard right, “Labour” Tory leader to the hilt, getting her photograph in the papers at every opportunity, onto the title page of reports, and when you read these reports, she’s stuffed them with hellish common purpose jargon that nobody of sane mind can fathom or decipher.

    This bogus one time “lefty” will have been voting FOR cuts, FOR austerity, FOR golf courses, FOR obscene six figure salaries to interim crooks who are on the take, FOR closing vital facilities, and FOR every TORY measure and policy and “efficiency saving” under the sun.

    The problem is the people who voted for her didn’t want this. They were promised by Williamson a false prospectus of how she was gonna battle against THE MAN and be a thorn in the side of the executive, fighting from the sidelines. But what happened? She joined them and in no time began DISHING IT OUT.

    This electronic voting system will not be worth sh1t if it does not give openness, transparency and the results are put online for voters to check the voting record of the people who are representing the people and discharging their wishes and requirements in the chamber.

    Williamson will be petrified if this comes to pass because she’ll get the bum’s rush and become a GONER, along with many of her expenses and allowance grasping chums.

    Bring technology IN and make it SERVE THE PEOPLE who effing paid for it.

    • The problem with filming from the public gallery is that not all councillors in the Chamber can be filmed at once. So without a card vote it’s impossible to tell which way all councillors voted (but the voting is usually along party lines).

      From memory there’s an unused electronic voting system in the Chamber already, but who can trust the results to be accurate when you can’t see which way people voted?


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