What were top 7 most viewed articles and top 7 most viewed videos for May 2016?

What were top 7 most viewed articles and top 7 most viewed videos for May 2016?                                         Well just over a month has passed since polling day the election for a Merseyside PCC and local councillors on the Wirral and on the 23rd June 2016 there will be a referendum about membership of the EU. … Continue reading “What were top 7 most viewed articles and top 7 most viewed videos for May 2016?”

What were top 7 most viewed articles and top 7 most viewed videos for May 2016?



Well just over a month has passed since polling day the election for a Merseyside PCC and local councillors on the Wirral and on the 23rd June 2016 there will be a referendum about membership of the EU.

As I’ll be at Wirral Council’s Cabinet meeting on Monday morning, instead I thought I’d look back at the most read stories of last month (May 2016) and some of the most watched videos. Both are in order of most viewed (so the top number 1 slot was the one that attracted the most interest).

Top 7 articles on this blog (May 2016)

1. Who wouldn’t want you to read this story about the election of 4 Wirral councillors?

Since I wrote this story question marks have also been raised about the election of two further Wirral councillors not referred to by name in the article, which leads to unanswered questions about over a quarter of the 23 councillors elected. If all six elections had been (or are in the next 2 years) declared null and void*, no political party would have a majority on Wirral Council.

*Highly unlikely considering how this country works or doesn’t work and I’d like to point out that councillors/candidates are innocent until proven guilty and that trial by media doesn’t count.

Continue reading “What were top 7 most viewed articles and top 7 most viewed videos for May 2016?”

Youtube censors 4th September Wirral Council Cabinet video about Lyndale School closure consultation

Youtube censors 4th September Wirral Council Cabinet video about Lyndale School closure consultation

Youtube censors 4th September Wirral Council Cabinet video about Lyndale School closure consultation

Councillor Tony Smith (Cabinet Member for Children and Family Services) at the Special Cabinet Meeting of 4th September 2014 to discuss Lyndale School L to R Cllr Stuart Whittingham, Cllr Tony Smith, Cllr Bernie Mooney and Lyndzay Roberts
Councillor Tony Smith (Cabinet Member for Children and Family Services) at the Special Cabinet Meeting of 4th September 2014 (the public meeting Sony Music Entertainment won’t allow you to watch the first part of) to discuss Lyndale School L to R Cllr Stuart Whittingham, Cllr Tony Smith (Cabinet Member for Children and Family Services), Cllr Bernie Mooney and Lyndzay Roberts

Interest declarations: The author of this piece filmed the Cabinet meeting of 4th September 2014 referred to in this piece. The author of this piece works for an organisation that receives royalties from Youtube/Google for videos he films of Wirral Council. The author is in dispute with Sony Music Entertainment over the filming of a video shown at the Cabinet meeting of the 4th September 2014.

As if the piece about blog comments being censored wasn’t bad enough, Sony Music Entertainment have chosen to stop you viewing video of the 4th September meeting of Wirral Council over the decision to close Lyndale School (which includes contributions from parents and those associated with the school).

However it was viewed 88 times (and called in and then a minority report was written on it decided at Council a week ago), so I suppose many people who want to see it have seen it by now.

Why have Sony Music Entertainment done this? Well they claim to have a licence to the track created by Icelandic musician Jonsi “We Bought a Zoo” [2011] which was used in the video about the school shown at the meeting. I’m not disputing that this track wasn’t used as background music in the video.

However both British and American law allows for “fair use” of copyrighted materials for the purpose of news reporting and the music is only incidental. These exemptions written into both British copyright law and American copyright law. This is a point I’ve repeatedly pointed out to Sony Music Entertainment and Youtube over the past month and two weeks. A bit like dealing with Wirral Council I’ve been ignored.

There was another copyright claim made on the video (not by Sony Music Entertainment but by another organisation), but once it was explained to them the fair use claim they released their claim.

Here is the video (which you now can’t see):

Please accept YouTube cookies to play this video. By accepting you will be accessing content from YouTube, a service provided by an external third party.

YouTube privacy policy

If you accept this notice, your choice will be saved and the page will refresh.

So the battle for Lyndale School takes an unusual turn as an American multinational, based on the work of an Icelandic musician Jonsi insists Youtube not show the world what happened at Wirral Council’s Cabinet on the 4th September 2014.

Don’t you just love American culture who trumpets constitutional protections to “freedom of speech” (but seemingly for fellow Americans and not for foreigners)?

Also Youtube have told me that until it’s all sorted out (which at this rate could be forever and a day) I’m not allowed to upload new clips of over 15 minutes (there aren’t many Wirral Council meetings that are shorter than this). Yes I can re edit video clips of Wirral Council down to shorter than fifteen minutes before uploading, but it’ll just take more time and hastle to do so.

I have submitted a counter notification, whether Sony Music Entertainment bother to pay any attention to it is anyone’s guess! My guess is that Sony Music Entertainment have a policy of going after everybody (fair use or not) to try and take down possibly infringing works.

This is making me seriously consider alternatives to Youtube for uploading videos of Wirral Council. I’ve been considering a podcast for a while, so will seriously consider Apple and other alternatives.

In the meantime this is another issue to do with Lyndale School that cheeses me off. Many people know that American multinationals seem to put profits ahead of people but in censoring a meeting about Lyndale School Sony are showing disrespect to children, the press, the public and the disabled community.

As long as this dispute lasts, I won’t personally be buying any music (or other media) sold through Sony Music Entertainment and suggest readers boycott them too as perhaps that is the only way Sony Music Entertainment will actually listen?

Before you leave a comment the total revenue earned on this particular video over the last two months I estimate at a grand total of 6 British pence (or if you’re Sony Music Entertainment an American dime).

Personally if I was Sony Music Entertainment I’d be wondering whether this is all worth it for what they’re going to get out of it. Perhaps they’re trying to make a political point about greed and Lyndale School, but I seriously doubt it! 🙂

I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the above, so please leave a comment below.

If you click on any of these buttons below, you’ll be doing me a favour by sharing this article with other people. Thanks:

Standards Committee (Wirral Council) 3/7/2012 Part 1 Election of Chair, Minutes of previous meetings

Standards Committee 3rd July 2012

Photo caption: From Left to Right
Cllr Steve Williams (Conservative), Cllr Chris Blakeley (Conservative), Cllr Les Rowlands (Conservative), Shirley Hudspeth (Officer – Committee Clerk), Surjit Tour (Legal Adviser), Malcolm Flanagan (Report author agenda item 5 & item 6), Unknown Labour councillor (1), Unknown Labour councillor (2)

Standards Committee
Conservative (3)
Cllr Chris Blakeley
Cllr Les Rowlands
Cllr Steve Williams

Labour (5)
Cllr Ron Abbey
Cllr John Salter
Cllr Bill Davies (Chair)
Cllr Bernie Mooney
Cllr Anita Leech

Lib Dem (1)
Cllr Tom Harney

Not Present:

Vacancy (1) Independent

Vacancy (2) Independent

Vacancy (3) Independent

Wirral Council Officers
Malcolm Flanagan
Shirley Hudspeth (Committee Clerk)
Surjit Tour (Legal Adviser/Deputy Monitoring Officer)
Rick O’Brien

Mrs Leonora and Mr. John Brace
Mr. Denis Knowles

Agenda item 1 – Election of Chair 00:00 to 01:50

Surjit Tour explained to councillors that they needed to elect a Chair. Cllr Bill Davies was nominated. Cllr Chris Blakeley queried why it was necessary when Part 2 of the Annual Meeting of the Council, held on the 21st May 2012 had already reached a decision as to who the Chair should be? [Ed – this decision took effect from 1/7/12.]

Surjit Tour answered his question. Cllr Bill Davies was elected unopposed as Chair. The new Chair thanked the Committee for their hard work.

The Chair moved the Committee to:

Agenda Item 2 – Minutes of Previous Meeting 01:50 to 11:35

The agenda item was to discuss the minutes of the meetings held on the 16th April 2012 and 25th June 2012.

Cllr Blakeley asked which set of minutes they were dealing with first?

He disputed the accuracy of various parts of the minutes. The Chair said he hadn’t been at the meeting in question. Cllr Harney said it would “cost a fortune” for verbatim minutes, but they had to record decisions made. He thought it was better if quoting to attribute it to a named person and felt it was better in future “to stick to a brief narrative” and a decision if any was made, feeling that spending time on it was not productive and what mattered was the decision.

Cllr Chris Blakeley suggested they record meetings in the future.

Cllr Ron Abbey stated the recording of meetings would need agreement at a meeting of the full Council, he supported Cllr Harney’s stance, but it required the full Council to resolve. A discussion followed.

Cllr Chris Blakeley referred to his resolution at a previous meeting that was agreed 5:0:4. He recommended that all future meetings are recorded by video or sound.

Cllr Salter said they’d done this route before as they had had streaming video of Planning Committee meetings for two years and there had been difficulties.

Cllr Ron Abbey said that technology evolved but wanted a full report on the policy option.

Cllr Chris Blakeley said he was happy to move a motion.

Cllr Tom Harney said he was in favour of recording, but there were resource implications and systems had to be set up, he felt it was a matter for Cabinet.

Surjit Tour suggested it could be looked at by the Member Equipment Steering Group, especially as KLOE 6 would lead to a review of the IT kit and the Council’s infrastructure, as part of this they could look into the possibility of recording as well as the streaming cost implications as part of this cross party working group.

Cllr Chris Blakeley was happy, Cllr Salter said it didn’t work on Planning, but the equipment was still here. Cllr Ron Abbey said he had no issue with it coming back as technology moved on. He wanted other people to look at it going to the Working Party to fill in information as a policy option.

Cllr Les Rowlands felt video was not helpful, but if it recorded accurate decisions then for Shirley’s benefit it could help improve the accuracy of the minutes.

Cllr Ron Abbey suggested it go to the Working Party.

Cllr Chris Blakeley wanted to move consideration for recording either video or voice, he was happy for Surjit Tour to take it to the cross party Working Group.

Cllr Bill Davies said he was not sure he wanted video, this was seconded by Cllr Les Rowlands.

The Chair said just to be clear it was going to the Working Party, which was agreed.

Continued in part 2

Planning Committee Part 1 Cllr Elderton interrupts proceedings, Planning Committee discusses freedom of speech

The Chair of the Planning Committee, Cllr Elderton interrupted Cllr Niblock tonight during the Planning Committee during its consideration of planning application APP/10/01105 (agenda item 4).

This is what Cllr Elderton (and others) said (or at least what could be heard on the recording as there are segments on the recording where there is more than one voice talking at a time) so some words may be lost. There are five speakers in this segment.

Cllr David Elderton (Conservative Party), Chair of the Planning Committee
John Brace (this is myself)
Leonora Brace (this is my wife and editor of this blog)
Cllr Chris Blakeley (Conservative Party), Standards Committee member
Legal adviser (Legal adviser to the Planning Committee)

Chair Cllr David Elderton: Sorry, can I just stop you councillor for a minute? Somebody is videoing proceedings in the front row and that is not allowed.

John Brace: I’ve got a letter from Steve Foulkes that says it is.

Chair Cllr David Elderton: Sorry?

John Brace: I’ve got a letter from the Leader of the Council that says it is.

Chair Cllr David Elderton: Who’s told you it is?

John Brace: Cllr Steve Foulkes in response to a question at full Council.

Chair Cllr David Elderton: I’m going to get some legal advice on this.

John Brace: OK.

Chair Cllr David Elderton: We do not normally have these proceedings errm errm.

Cllr Chris Blakeley: Can I?

Chair Cllr David Elderton: photographed because we have problems in terms of personal people’s personal activities do not necessarily want them recorded.

Cllr Chris Blakeley: Chairman, can I help as a member of the Standards Committee? The Standards Committee earlier this year approved the Council be open and transparent in the use of media to be allowed in all meetings.

Chair Cllr David Elderton: Very good, I’m just concerned that it might err influence the way people speak in an open manner. And I’ll take some legal advice on that.

Legal adviser: I’m not sure of the errm of the issue in regards to what.

John Brace: Sorry I can’t hear you, could you use the microphone?

Legal adviser: not sure of the difference in what Cllr Foulkes has told you or the errm take what the Standards Board have said into account. It is highly unusual for the for the undertaking to be errm recorded, and I’m not sure if what the Standards Committee have recommended has actually been passed down to this committee as as a as a decision.

Chair Cllr David Elderton: Certainly not.

Legal adviser: I would think that until that has been until it’s been actually passed down to the various committees, that that would not be accepted as usual practice. I think there is transparency with regards to the media and in an around the success and publicity

Editor Leonora Brace: Turn it off!

Legal adviser: with regards to the decision making process but the actual visual recording something I would expect the Chairman to be aware of to be acceptable. If the Chairman hasn’t been informed by the Leader then I would think that pending clarification and confirmation with the Chairman I would think that it must be acceptable.

Cllr Chris Blakeley: Can I just?

Chair Cllr David Elderton: I’m not having an open public meeting.

Cllr Chris Blakeley: I’m just trying to be helpful. Those minutes were approved by Council, then Council has agreed to allow filming and photography at council meeting. That’s all I’m saying.

Editor Leonora Brace: Turn it off.

Cllr Chris Blakeley: If Council has agreed those minutes then that’s allowed.

Chair Cllr David Elderton: I need some help with it. My first concern is to avoid people being compromised and being intimidated by a cameraman.

Editor Leonora Brace: Turn it off!

Recording ends as per instruction from editor to cease recording and the practical reason of running out of tape.