Banned video on Lyndale School restored to Youtube; Wirral Council still prevents filming at 2 public meetings

Banned video on Lyndale School restored to Youtube; Wirral Council still prevents filming at 2 public meetings

Banned video on Lyndale School restored to Youtube; Wirral Council still prevents filming at 2 public meetings


Councillor Tony Smith 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, Lyndzay Roberts
Councillor Tony Smith 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, Lyndzay Roberts that Sony prevented being watch on Youtube until now.

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Ed – Updated 11:58 14/11/2014 to include additional information.

Well the above Youtube video of the Cabinet meeting of the 4th September 2014 (previously blocked by Youtube in Germany and unavailable for anyone to view for the last fortnight because of Sony) can now be viewed.

Sony Music Entertainment haven’t sued me, so the video has to go back. My arcane knowledge of the counter notification provision to a DMCA takedown notice in the American Digital Millenium Copyright Act paid off.

The issue was to do with the use of the music track “We bought a Zoo” [2011] by Icelandic musician Jónsi.

It means the 15 minute restriction on videos, restrictions on live broadcasts is no lifted on the main Youtube channel I use. Also the account is returned to good standing.

However in future at a public meeting, even though I can justify fair use on the grounds of news reporting, to prevent the making of false allegations of copyright infringement and this happening again, I have decided not to film videos shown during public meetings (obviously there may be exceptions to this general rule).

With regards to the Lyndale School video, the fact that Jónsi is blind adds another interesting element to the Lyndale story.

It’s not however just Sony Music Entertainment that have tried to prevent footage of Wirral Council’s public meetings being shown. Wirral Council tried it at a call in earlier this year in February (about Lyndale).

Also at a recent meeting of the Youth and Play Service Advisory Committee on the 28th October and the Youth Parliament on 11th November Wirral Council were adamant that for child protection reasons these public meetings couldn’t be filmed.

This was because at the meeting on the 28th there was a 16-year-old present and at the meeting on the 11th November, there were 11-18 year olds present in addition to councillors.

Strangely enough on that very topic the Youth Parliament, the BBC are filming (and showing on BBC Parliament today) from 11.10am-12.40pm and 1.40pm onwards the Youth Parliament debating in the House of Commons.

In fact here is a quote from one UK Youth Parliament member Ciara Brodie from Liverpool (who will be leading a debate):

“Friday 14th November will be an incredible day, not only for those sitting in the chamber, but for young people across the country. This is the day when hundreds of Members of Youth Parliament will take to the green benches of the House of Commons and debate on the issues that are most important to us. These five issues have been decided by a nationwide ballot taken part in by over 865,000 11-18 year olds. This day will be symbolic, because young people often feel excluded from politics, and like their voices are neither acknowledged nor represented in Parliament. This sitting is an incredible opportunity to engage young people from across the UK in political debate, just months before a General Election. With educational reform a hot topic and 16 and 17 year olds voting in the Scottish Referendum, there has never been a more important time to listen to young people. It is one thing to be given a voice but hopefully, as a result of this debate, young people will also be listened to. This is our chance to make our mark in the heart of Westminster.”

Here is what a Youth Parliament document states about the filming today:

Television coverage

The debates will all be filmed. BBC Parliament will be broadcasting the debates live with a five minute time delay.
The debates will also be streamed “live” with a time delay directly to the newsrooms of the BBC, Sky, etc – so that broadcasters may use the footage that day if they want to.

It is very important that during the debates MYPs don’t say anything that is factually incorrect (i.e. slanderous), don’t swear and are careful not to damage the reputation of Parliament (e.g. call MPs liars!). We will be taking legal advice on anything that could be considered slanderous and any such statements will have to be removed.
The microphones and cameras will be on in the Chamber at all times.”

Coverage of the morning session will be broadcast on the BBC Parliament channel today (14th November 2014) starting at 8.20pm.
Coverage of the afternoon session will be broadcast on the BBC Parliament channel today (14th November 2014) starting at 9.50pm.

Coverage of the morning session will be available on BBC Iplayer at this link (1h30m).
Coverage of the afternoon session will be available on BBC Iplayer at this link (2h10m) .

That’s a total of 3h40m of footage.

The problem however is despite the House of Commons changing the law at Wirral Council, the officer/councillor requests to ban filming the public meeting of Wirral Council of the Youth Parliament earlier this week, especially as the Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2014 meant that from August 6th 2014 Wirral Council could no longer ban any filming at its public meetings, just looks somewhat slightly silly now, old-fashioned, possibly unlawful when the BBC are filming the Youth Parliament in the House of Commons at a public meeting to a much wider audience?

Maybe Wirral Council’s child protection policy will prevent its UK Youth Parliament members (aged between 11-18) actually being involved at all in London at the House of Commons today (which if it does that’s a shame). Mind you under their “child protection policy” the public & press have been told in the past aren’t even allowed to know even the names of who from Wirral represents the views of young people on the Youth Parliament!

In Wirral of course, with full approval from Wirral Council’s Cabinet, children’s voices are not to be heard outside of meeting rooms at public meetings on political issues. The reason given is because “they’re children” and of course Wirral isn’t known to as the “insular peninsula” for no reason. It’s however really part of a wider cultural attitude against openness and transparency and of trying to control the press.

Wirral will probably also say its for safeguarding reasons, however I would say the effect of broadcasting on national TV, online and through other broadcasters is likely to reach a much wider audience than probably the fifty or sixty views there would have been of the Youth Parliament meeting at Wirral Council.

What have Wirral Council actually got to hide when it comes to teenagers? Do they just so ever conveniently forget at time they get £millions of public money to spend on their education?

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Councillor John Salter “when you make a decision you’ve got to do it behind locked doors”

Councillor John Salter “when you make a decision you’ve got to do it behind locked doors”

Councillor John Salter “when you make a decision you’ve got to do it behind locked doors”


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Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee meeting of the 3rd July 2014

Last Thursday Wirral Council’s Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee met and there was an interesting discussion by councillors (and the independent members) on agenda item 4 (the work programme for 2014/15) and its Appendix (terms of reference of the Standards and Constitutional Oversight Working Group.

This transcript below starts at about 14:38 in the video above. Apologies for any poor sound quality in the video, but microphones weren’t provided to the Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee that evening.

One example is the issue about filming, the regulations around filming, blogging, tweeting has now become operative and will be operative by the end of this month. So that’s expected there are a number of areas where we need to ensure the constitution reflects some of those changes which are reported… so those are the key areas I’ve suggested which obviously you can add if you confirm areas of work which you feel are necessary around the committee’s remit.

I just have a comment. Over the years I’ve noticed that there’s been less and less public coming in to see our Councils and so forth. This has a bearing on culture as well because when you’ve got members of the public there observing the Council meeting then you know bode for somebody to start shouting all kinds of obscenities across the Chamber. So I think the level of etiquette when I first started as a councillor here was much, much higher than it is today. I think in my own mind that’s part of it because the public was involved.

Is there any way that we can err whether it’s publicising, I realise we can’t drag them in off the street but is there any way that we can work on a project where we can actually start to try and engage in meetings. I mean it’s a great start by having independents but you know participation in the Council Chamber itself ie bringing the public in to view what we’re doing. I just think it’s really sad that that has dropped off and we seem to have lost this connection with our public. We do have our own constituencies but they don’t seem to know what goes on in this Council.

One of the things that came out very strongly in terms of the survey that I’m going to talk about was for Members, as I said open and accountable to backbench Members errm was that one of the ways full Council operates, notwithstanding that and I suppose we’re all guilty at some time or another of that behaviour, absolutely I put my hands up to that, but all of us felt that actually that the way full Council behaves and the idea of a that first one was just to re establish things like standing up when the Mayor comes in, those sort of things that have fallen by the way.

… not being the Chair as I need to be, he or she has that, it’s that kind of very errm basic respect really for first of all for the authority of the Chair or the Mayor, Mayor as Chair and then each other and it’s a culture but if we put our minds to work on that basis, then possibly we wouldn’t be subject to criticism as well, but certainly we wouldn’t be embarrassed to see that happening but it’s a chicken and egg isn’t it?

The other Les, I think the timing of what you’ve just said is perfect as well, because in the Mayor’s speech he did say about it, the role of councillors and you know you should revisit how we market ourselves, how we get together and go out. Errm, I think I’ve said about it but I’ll just finish with students, full-time students and you know I was at university talking to many of the younger students who were studying politics and they weren’t even aware that you could just walk in to public meetings and I’m talking about Liverpool, you know we met outside and they drew me on what do you mean, the back cleared area at public meetings, they weren’t aware of the public gallery and obviously that could be an area we could easily promote.

I think that’s a good idea, I mean we could go to colleges and also … I’ve seen colleges go into art galleries and some I’ve seen them … why can’t they come into the Town Hall?

Yes, a bit more on the second point in relation to all that. While I was canvassing, errm I did go up and people were asking me if I could give if some, how many of the meetings weren’t open to the public? People do want to get involved and it’s a case of publicising it, it’s easily done in the press and people do want to attend, I’m sure we’ve even thought about that.

There’s a flip side to that, people might come along and see all the members seated in the House of Commons, Councillor Salter.

Yeah, I mean the biggest attendance of anyone from outside is either at licensing or planning and that’s when and I’ve been on both. I’ve been where on planning where we’ve got these two rooms open and absolutely chock a block and Committee Room 1, so you know it’s only when there’s something happening really that they want to come along to, otherwise like anything it’s apathy, they’ll go ahead and do it anyway and that’s the attitude, we don’t.

You know we sit down and we do this planning and on licensing and we have one of the biggest arguments going, behind locked doors, when you make a decision you’ve got to do it behind locked doors to give you a sufficient chance to discuss.

I think as well as I remember, when I came on the Council it was electric the atmosphere it was. Errm, it was almost intimidating really and … the Council things have changed, I mean sometimes I think remarks like we’re watching paint dry and that’s true because things have changed, there’s not a lot of debate going on and if you think about by the time they have question time, then question the Cabinet and so on and before that we … have notices of motion, so things have changed now since I’ve come on.

If the general public know that the Cabinet is going to make a particular decision, they will turn up and they will make an issue about it and they will make representations about that.

They will also at full Council, if Cabinet have made a decision which they disagree with, you wait and see what happens about Lyndale, other people have clearly came and they speak very strongly about it and there have been times, I’ve been a councillor since 1987, so there’ve been a lot of things happening during that time, but I’ve had to fight my way in to this Town Hall on numerous occasions over these years but I believe now the committee system that we have, with the Cabinet and the scrutiny split and people think it’s a waste of time turning up and once Cabinet have made a decision it is very, very unusual for that to be changed.

So people think ‘what’s the point?’ and once they, once they’ve been here and they’ve been up in the public gallery, when their particular issue of concern has been dealt with. It’s, it’s, they’ve got to really want to be here because it’s not so easy to hear from the public gallery especially when councillors are shouting at each other and being you know disrespectful, so I think you know, we councillors have got a big responsibility to treat each other with respect and also then in mind if members of the public are here we should behave ourselves to allow people to listen, speak clearly and make sure they are welcomed into the Town Hall and you know they’re able to be here, it’s a privilege to be here but it’s also their right you know so we’ve got to make it welcoming and positively encourage people to come in.

Of course the Youth Parliament is a good way to encourage young people isn’t it to know about Council about how they can turn up at any time you know to witness what goes on. So I think a lot of it is in our hands to do something about.

Well, people, well that’s goes for our Labour Party and the party over there, we don’t do business shouting and screaming at each other especially at Council meetings and that’s the way it is. I think all sides of the Council, all parties agree on that.

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Council 9th February 2012 – Youth Parliament – Don’t mention the l word!

On Tuesday evening the Mayor welcomed young people participating in the Youth Parliament event and told everyone that he had started his career in the Council Chamber representing a youth club in New Brighton.

The first motion was calling for more sporting provision for young people on the Wirral. A Youth Parliament member called Leah explained that this was to help people with their self-confidence and team building skills. An opposer to the motion called Jessica called for a more diverse range of youth activities instead such as cooking, arts and foreign languages.

Cllr Walter Smith commented that there were more sporting opportunities now than in his youth and referred to his granddaughter at Upton Hall school. Various young people said the existing sporting provision wasn’t advertised enough. Another called Lauren referred to the Wirral Youth Theatre activities. Dylan suggested they use schools left empty during the holidays for sport.

Cllr Jerry Williams referred to the upcoming marathon and said although he was sixty, he had run thirty-six marathons.

A vote was taken and the motion was lost by 14 votes to 38.

The second motion was that all Wirral parks have either an internet cafe or wi-fi cafe so that young people could meet after school. Courtney said that she believed this would increase the number visiting the parks and would be used throughout the day by others. Hannah said that there were already youth clubs and it was pointless spending lots of money on such things.

Ricky said that more young people had internet access on their phones or at the local library and that they were “already a nation of zombies” so he disagreed with the motion.

George said that many families couldn’t afford internet access. Ffion said they could make money from refreshments but didn’t think it was well thought through. Charlotte opposed it and thought it would lead to conflict between rival groups.

Charlotte spoke saying it was a really good idea but with the cuts she couldn’t see it happening. Another young person said they could get half an hour free at their local library. Another two young people spoke against the idea.

Josh agreed with the motion, but said the youth clubs were safer. Alex thought it wouldn’t be safe and would intensify gang culture. Another young person said the wi-fi at Birkenhead Park pavilion was turned off when the cafe shuts at four.

Dylan thought it was a bad motion and Alan thought that people would just use it for playing games. Cllr Steve Williams spoke about the perception that young people had that the park was not a safe place. Cllr Patricia Glasman asked if young people would allow older people to use the internet cafes?

Josh said that older people could use the internet in work. Rosie said that no one goes to her local library and was interrupted by heckling. At the end of the debate there was a vote. Six were for, 52 were against, so the motion was lost.

The next motion was from Oldershaw school and asked for Wirral Council to guarantee employment opportunities for young people by insisting in contracts that a certain % of employment was local and a certain % apprenticeships.

Charles spoke first and thought that colleges should make the request rather than the local Council. Alex referred to young people going to university, getting into debt and coming out without a job.

Lauren thought that people at a private school received a better education than at a comprehensive. Graham talked about how if more people were in work then they would be less reliant on local government and crime would fall.

Ricky talked about how people worked hard to achieve good grades, but due to circumstances couldn’t go to university because of the expense. George spoke about kids in poverty and how youths should be a priority.

More young people spoke about qualifications. Lauren spoke about one to one sessions in her school in Maths and English. Cllr Adrian Jones said as a governor of Oldershaw how impressed he was by Megan Jones’ speech and how he did agree with the thrust of what she said. He also congratulated Charles Keeth on his speech.

Charlotte referred to how although she was hoping to go to university, she would take work in a coffee shop for eight months.

Another young person said that a young person got good grades at GCSE because of the effort that was put in.

Cllr Bernie Mooney congratulated the young people and said she wishes the adult debaters would take lessons from the discussions. She said that they had a duty that the aspirations of young people were upheld, that they had an excellent education department and she agreed that companies coming to Wirral to make their fortune should share it through an obligation to employ adults and young people as apprentices.

Cllr Cox spoke as a previous apprentice himself, he believed apprenticeships were the future, although he had gone on to university later and studied for a degree. He had done an HNC and been paid at the same time.

Ryan said it was important to give young people jobs especially when their parents didn’t have jobs. The motion went to the vote that Council contracts would guarantee 25% youth jobs. It was passed by 36 votes to 20.

The next motion was that areas of low life expectancy were due to lifestyle choices.

This sparked a debate about the differences between the West and East of Wirral and how where you were brought up affected your views, stereotypes and people’s views of poverty. This motion was lost by 8 votes to 42.

On the last motion, Cllr Watt declared a prejudicial interest and left. This motion was that councillors, MPs and officers should have their expenses cut.

Many young people spoke in favour of this. Councillor Les Rowlands spoke against, saying that he was paid less as a councillor than in his self-employed job and that some chose not to claim expenses. This motion was lost by 11 votes to 22. Cllr Blakeley asked for his abstention to be recorded.

The Mayor quipped that if the motion had passed he would’ve bought bicycle clips and a mayoral bicycle.

The last motion was that police officers should be armed with guns. There were a few speakers (mainly against) and that motion was lost by 10 votes to 40. At the end the Mayor invited the three party leaders to speak.

Cllr Tom Harney said that standards had been extremely high and that each year the standard was getting better, but that if people had any suggestions to let him know.

Cllr Wendy Clements said it had been interesting and exciting and that people had listened to each other, which she commented was rare, she congratulated everyone and on the standard of debate.

Cllr Phil Davies said it had been a fantastic evening and said he had been tempted to join in on the debate on councillor’s allowances. He said that many speeches were well researched and had a good evidence base. He thanks the staff for organising the event and said it had been a long day for those who had been there since the morning.

The Mayor thanked Maureen McDaid and the minutes of last year’s meeting were agreed. The meeting then closed.