Posted by: John Brace | 14th May 2018

Wirral Council will broadcast a Council meeting live online for the first time tonight!

Wirral Council will broadcast a Council meeting live online for the first time tonight!

                                      

Planning Committee (Wirral Council) 19th April 2018 which is the most recent Wirral Council public meeting I’ve filmed

Planning Committee (Wirral Council) 19th April 2018 which is the most recent Wirral Council public meeting I’ve filmed

I’ll start at the outset by declaring an interest as someone who also films public meetings of Wirral Council.

Tonight, Wirral Council will for the first time broadcast a Council meeting live on the internet. This follows award of a webcasting contract to Public-I Group Limited.

The public meeting tonight (if you read this the day on the day I am publishing it) is the first part (of two) of Wirral Council’s Annual Meeting. The meeting will decide on the Civic Mayor and Deputy Civic Mayor for the 2018-19 year. Wirral Council’s Cabinet have already recommended that Cllr Geoffrey Watt become the Civic Mayor for 2018-19 and Cllr Tony Smith become the Deputy Civic Mayor for 2018-19.

The meeting itself should be able to be watched live this evening from this page on Public-I Group’s website.

In April I made this Freedom of Information request for a copy of an invoice from Public-I Group Limited for £277,681.20 to Wirral Council.

The invoice details what the £277,681.20 is for as follows:

“Audio / Electronic Voting System & Three Year Webcasting and Maintenance Contract. All hardware is purchased.

Chamber: £90,379.95
Committee Rooms and Portable Solution: £46,150.82
Cameras and Encoders: £38,690.23
Webcasting Services 3 years (licence fees, hosting and streaming): £48,530.00
Preventative Maintenance 3 years Chamber: £2,550.00
Preventative Maintenance 3 years Committee Room 1: £2,550.00
Preventative Maintenance 3 years Committee Room 2: £2,550.00

Total: £231,401.00

VAT (20%): £46,280.20

Total: £277,681.20

Although the page on Public-I Group’s website for the meeting has the start time for the meeting as 6.45 pm, the meeting tonight is scheduled to start at 7.00 pm.

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Responses

  1. When i first read this, i thought maybe they are going Public to say what a bunch of usless people they are and are all going to resign, but reading the invoice, my god all that money, suppose its ok when its not yours to spend.
    How many potholes, street lamps, broken pavements, street signs that could have repair/ fixed

    • As someone who has been filming public meetings of Wirral Council for a few years, it can be done at a lower cost (for example by choosing to put the videos on Youtube instead of Public I Group Ltd’s website it would save the £48,530 + VAT charge for licence fees, hosting and streaming).

      Some of the cost is for microphones that Wirral Council have purchased outright (which do need replacing as many after years of use either don’t work at all or are crackly). If this leads to most meetings where each councillor and where there are people who are co-opted onto a committee has a microphone that works it’s an improvement.

      There are many councillors with hearing difficulties and indeed members of the public with hearing difficulties that struggle to hear what is said during meetings.

      Other aspects of this though such as the introduction electronic voting for councillors instead of putting their hands up or having their name read out (to which they answer for, against, abstain etc) are more controversial.

      I’ve no idea how many potholes, street lamps, broken pavements and street signs the money could have be used to repair or fix.


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