Well, the Health and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee started with the Chair starting a discussion by the Committee over whether they should allow filming.
The Chair started speaking but the proceedings were interrupted by a serial heckler going by the name of Cllr Harry Smith (Labour), who after walking twice in both directions in front of the camera loudly shouted “Chuck them out” before storming out himself. The doors slammed loudly behind him, while an atmosphere of calm returned to the meeting with the Chair temporarily lost for words at Cllr Smith’s interruption.
Ironically, the meeting wasn’t being filmed while this was taking place, but for a rundown along with links to the Youtube videos of the three times this previously happened you can read Paul Cardin’s blog as each time is broadly similar with Labour councillors moaning about it the filming they thought was taking place (but wasn’t).
I also notice from Paul Cardin’s blog that one of those voting against filming at this Health and Wellbeing meeting (Cllr Bernie Moonie) was quoted at the last meeting as saying “just for this meeting”.
So who voted for and who voted against?
Against filming 4
Cllr Bernie Mooney (Labour)
Cllr Tony Norbury (Labour)
Cllr Denise Roberts (Labour)
Cllr Anita Leech (Labour)
For filming 4
Cllr Alan Brighouse (Lib Dem)
Cllr Eddie Boult (Conservative)
Cllr Mike Hornby (Conservative)
Brian Donaldson (Carer’s representative)
The Chair (Cllr Simon Mountney, Conservative) having abstained on the vote then decided to use his vote to vote with the Labour councillors.
During the discussion Cllr Bernie Mooney referred to the previous Planning Committee and how in her view there was no policy on the filming of meetings.
Cllr Mooney must have completely forgotten about voting for the Council policy entitled “Lights, Camera, Action” in December 2011, that the Standards Committee of 26th January 2011 resolved that “in the interests of openness and transparency it was decided that no further restrictions would be placed on the use of recording media in Council buildings.”.
As a footnote to the above at the last Council meeting, instead of settling the matter at the end of last year, Labour councillors insisted on calling for a review of filming meetings to the Licensing, Health and Safety and General Purposes Committee which next meets on 23rd January 2012, but sadly the Licensing, Health and Safety and General Purposes Committee’s agenda (all five items of it!) doesn’t include this review.
Personally I think the “review” is a “red herring” and as the next Licensing, Health and Safety and General Purposes Committee after the one on the 23rd January is the 20th March, I have little option but to follow through on my letter of the 19th December 2012 and file for judicial review at the Administrative Court (High Courts of Justice) of Wirral Council’s decisions.