Open Democracy Project Phase 1: Dates of upcoming public meetings (18th August 2014 to 19th September 2014)
A Planning Committee meeting at Wirral Council (20th March 2014), an example of one of the public meetings at Wirral Council and one now covered by the filming legislation
One of the questions I sometimes get asked is when public meetings are. In fact the numbers of the public turning up to public meetings (ranging from zero to over a hundred) was talked about at the last Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee. I’m always pleased to see other members of the press or public at these meetings and I don’t mind if someone else is filming, tweeting, audio recording, photographing etc too (not that they are supposed to stop such things these days anyway).
If the press (whether that be newspapers, radio, TV, online or other) and public are able to exercise their new rights about filming however, they have to first know when and where the meetings are being held. The Wirral Council, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, Police and Crime Panel, Mersey Port Health Committee and definitely some of the police ones do fall under the filming legislation.
Strangely (strange because other public bodies paid for through Council Tax, such as fire, police, Merseytravel, Combined Authority etc do fall under it), meetings of the Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority don’t fall under the filming legislation, although they are public meetings. There are then a bunch of public meetings where it is “unclear” as to whether the filming legislation applies or not (something our legal department will have to look into and do some internal guidance on).
Usually public meetings are not very well advertised! Notice of them is usually published on an obscure page or two on a website (although obviously the people on the committee are told). If you really wanted to you could probably spend a lot of time going to them (although thankfully in August there are less of them). If anyone wonders if I’m going to be at them all, the answer is no (as at least two are on at the same time in different places).
As we’re halfway through August (and there are very few meetings in August so this would be a very short list) this list of public meetings also includes part of September. I have included training sessions too (although councillors would probably not appreciate it, if members of the press or public turned up to their training sessions so the location of such training meetings is not included but the titles, dates and times of the training sessions are).
Where available (at the time of writing) links to agenda & reports are included (and a brief bit about what the meeting is about if known (well there is some stuff I know about what these meetings are about but it would take too long to include here). Reports & agendas should be published (it’s a legal requirement) on the respective organisation’s website a week before the meeting is held. Room bookings however can be changed at short notice due to contingency plans. For example at Wirral Council if large numbers of people turn up and exceed the capacity of the room & overflow room, a previous meeting in the same room overruns or the situation that has happened in the past where two meetings are double-booked in the same room at the same time then the location of the meeting can change at short notice.
Meetings can be added (or cancelled) on an ad hoc basis, but in the case of the former a week of notice is usually given.
Wirral Council (Metropolitan Borough of Wirral or Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council) (public meetings 18th August 2014 to 19th September 2014)
Thursday 21st August 2014 6pm Planning Committee, Committee Room 1, Wallasey Town Hall, Brighton Street, Seacombe, CH44 8ED
Purpose of meeting is to decide on minutes, site visits, planning applications & AOB. Planning application for Tranmere Rovers training ground has already received some press coverage.
Friday 22nd August 2014 10am Licensing Panel, Committee Room 3, Wallasey Town Hall, Brighton Street, Seacombe, CH44 8ED
Purpose: To decide on an application to register a Hackney Carriage Vehicle (GX51 OKL). Normally a decision made by officers (not councillors) but taxi failed its MOT so couldn’t be registered in time before licence expired.
Tuesday 26th August 2014 Constituency Committee – Wallasey Working Group, 7pm, Committee Room 1, Wallasey Town Hall, Brighton Street, Seacombe, CH44 8ED
Wednesday 27th August 2014 Licensing Act 2003 Subcommittee, 10am, Committee Room 2, Wallasey Town Hall, Brighton Street, Seacombe, CH44 8ED