Wirral Council tries to ban filming of public meeting to award Freedom of the Borough to the 96 who died in Hillsborough!

Wirral Council tries to ban filming of public meeting to award Freedom of the Borough to the 96 who died in Hillsborough!

Wirral Council tries to ban filming of public meeting to award Freedom of the Borough to the 96 who died in Hillsborough!

                                                   

Councillor Bill Davies, Left (Chair, Licensing Act 2003 Committee (Wirral Council)) votes against a filming ban of a public meeting 26th October 2016
Councillor Bill Davies, Left (Chair, Licensing Act 2003 Committee (Wirral Council)) votes against a filming ban of a public meeting 26th October 2016

On Friday evening, at a public meeting of all Wirral Council’s councillors, freedom of the borough is expected to be awarded to the 96 that died in the Hillsborough disaster.

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I filmed Liverpool City Council award freedom of the city of Liverpool to the 96 who died in Hillsborough last year (which can be viewed above), freedom of the borough for PC Dave Phillips last year and the award of freedom of the borough for 107 (Lancashire & Cheshire) Field Squadron Royal Engineers (Volunteers) and the 234 (Wirral) Transport Squadron Royal Logistic Corps (Volunteers) in 2012.

I was therefore surprised to receive the following email below from Kevin McCallum this afternoon. I have sent a response back asking Wirral Council’s Interim Monitoring Officer to provide advice to councillors as to whether this is lawful as Wirral Council are required to provide reasonable facilities for the purpose of filming the public meeting.

I’ve also pointed out I’m quite happy to film from the Council Chamber, as I have done before for a public meeting of the Wirral Schools Forum. Filming from the Council Chamber was done by another media organisation during the freedom of borough meeting for PC Dave Phillips last year. I’ve removed Kevin’s mobile number from the email below as as far as I know it’s not made public. I’ve also not included the LGC Awards 2015 Most Improved Council logo and the boilerplate text at the end.



from: MacCallum, Kevin
to: John Brace <john@johnbrace.com>
date: 11 September 2017 at 14:29
subject: Freedom of the Borough council, Friday.

Hi John,

Just wanted to let you know in advance of Friday that unfortunately the public gallery will be off-limits for the Freedom of the Borough event, as it is being reserved for invited guests of the families.

We are filming the entire event and will be posting it onto our YouTube channel.

If you would still like to attend you, along with any other members of the public wishing to view the formal part of the event, will be asked to use one of the Committee Rooms on the ground floor, where sound will be played through from the Chamber.

Thanks
Kev

Kev MacCallum
Head of Communications
Communications & Marketing

T: 0151 691 8388
M: XXXXX XXX XXX
E: kevinmaccallum@wirral.gov.uk
W: www.wirral.gov.uk & www.wirralview.com


Updated 11.3.18 I finally found the footage of the meeting over 6 months later, it hadn’t been published on Wirral Council’s Youtube Channel as Kevin suggested, but the channel of Paul Frost on the 19th September 2017.

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3 meetings of Wirral Council tonight, but what are they about?

3 meetings of Wirral Council tonight, but what are they about?

3 meetings of Wirral Council tonight, but what are they about?

                                              

Cllr Tony Smith (Cabinet Member for Education) voting to close a school rated Outstanding by OFSTED at a time when Wirral Council was rated as inadequate
Cllr Tony Smith (Cabinet Member for Education) voting to close a school rated outstanding by OFSTED at a time when Wirral Council was rated as inadequate

Below is a brief update that should cover what’s happening at the three meetings of Wirral Council tonight.

The first is about the recent OFSTED report (which has previously been covered by this blog).

Each political party’s response (you can read the motions for yourself) is summed up below.

Labour – Things can only get better (but the government doesn’t give us enough money)
Conservative – Things were better when the Conservatives and Lib Dems were in charge of Wirral Council and why don’t the Labour councillors in charge of these areas resign?
Liberal Democrat – Things were better when the Lib Dems were in charge, but there should be regular progress reports on what’s happening, statements by the Cabinet Member and an opportunity to question him


The second Council meeting is about the proposed newspaper idea.

Again, there’s a split by political party on that proposal too.

Labour – We want to publish a new monthly newspaper delivered to every home and business on the Borough
Conservative – Refers to Labour’s plan as an “expensive exercise in spin and control” and a “vanity project” that’s likely to lead to government intervention
Liberal Democrat – The legal advice received and correspondence with DCLG should be shared with all councillors (who shouldn’t have to make Freedom of Information requests for it)


Then there’s finally the regular Council meeting. The only Notice of Motion likely to debated at that meeting (proposed by the Labour Group) is one asking retailers and vendors to stop selling the Sun newspaper.

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Liverpool City Council awards Freedom of the City posthumously to the 96 killed at Hillsborough

Liverpool City Council awards Freedom of the City posthumously to the 96 killed at Hillsborough

                                          

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Cllr Richard Kemp speaking about the subject of Hillsborough at an Extraordinary meeting of Liverpool City Council on the 25th May 2016
Cllr Richard Kemp speaking about the subject of Hillsborough at an Extraordinary meeting of Liverpool City Council on the 25th May 2016

Above is video of the special meeting of Liverpool City Council held on the 25th May 2016 where Freedom of the City was awarded posthumously to the 96 people who died as a result of the Hillsborough disaster in 1989. The reason for awarding them Freedom of the City was described as, “To recognise the place of the 96 Hillsborough victims in the history of the City of Liverpool, who went to a football match, but never returned.”

Liverpool City Council also awarded Freedom of the City to four others involved with the campaigning to see justice and/or support to the families of the 96 unlawfully killed. These people were Kenny Dalglish MBE, Marina Dalglish MBE, The Right Reverend Bishop James Jones and Professor Phil Scraton.

Each of the names of the ninety-six who died were read out individually at the meeting and politicians also gave speeches about the issue of Hillsborough and the reason behind the awards.

The BBC were also present at the meeting and the award of Freedom of the City to these people was mentioned in the evening regional TV news bulletin North West tonight.

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Hillsborough Independent Panel reports

The news today has been mainly about the long-awaited Hillsborough Independent Panel report into the deaths of ninety-six people at the fateful FA Cup semi-final in 1989.

Whatever words I write cannot express how the families of those who lost their lives many years ago feel, but today hopefully the world will see at last what really happened those many years ago and the extent of the cover up now that the documents have been released to the public.

E-petition – Hillsborough tragedy documents – Update – Nick Clegg visit/announcement

Two short days after I wrote “it’s only right that the public should have access to the documents surrounding the case. I hope the Coalition government responds positively to this request so the relatives of those who died and the public have full disclosure as to what happened decades ago.” Nick Clegg has visited the region and confirmed that all documents relating to Hillsborough will be released.

There’s a write up of the announcement and visit on the Birkdale Liberal Democrats website.

Two and a half years ago I was at a full Council meeting around the 20th anniversary of the tragedy. At this meeting all three political parties Lib Dem, Labour and Conservative voted together to make it official Wirral Council policy to push for the documents to be released. It’s nice to see things finally moving in the right direction.

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