Wirral Council defy law (for the 4th time) to ban filming at public meeting to discuss alcohol

Wirral Council defy law (for the 4th time) to ban filming at public meeting to discuss alcohol

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

Wirral Council defy law (for the 4th time) to ban filming at public meeting to discuss alcohol

                                                 

1 Peter 2:15
For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people
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

Over two years ago, the law was changed and Wirral Council was criticised in a press release for trying to stop filming of its public meetings.

Last night Wirral Council’s Licensing Act 2003 Committee met.

Wirral Council started the Wirral Alcohol Inquiry in September 2015 and awarded the tender for this to Shared Future (a Community Interest Company). The question that they were asked to answer was, “What can we all do to make it easier for people to have a healthier relationship with alcohol?”.

The report that came out of talking with twenty Wirral residents made a series of recommendations, the most important one was seen as “Limit the number of licensed premises and make it easier for the public to object to licensing applications. Educate the public that you can have a say on local licensing. Explore how we can make it easier for the public to have their say on local licensing.”

Three of the twenty residents were present at last night’s meeting. However despite receiving legal advice to allow filming to go ahead, despite the law being changed over two years ago, councillors decided to adjourn the whole meeting, ironically to make is harder for the public to have their say on local licensing.

This marks the 4th time since the legislation was changed this has happened and here’s just a brief look back at when Wirral Council has tried this before since the legislation change.

The day democracy and freedom of the press died at Wirral Council: 28th October 2014

Councillors decided to ban filming of the Youth and Play Service Advisory Committee, to avoid future problems the Committee stopped meeting in public and now Wirral Council is subject to government intervention for the way it runs the Children and Young Peoples’ Department.

Labour councillor bans filming at public meeting to decide whether to licence a taxi that’s over 10 years old

There’s a transcript of what happened, but essentially a councillor wanted to ban filming of a public meeting discussing whether to licence a taxi.

Why has Wirral Council sunk deeper into the quagmire of poor corporate governance surrounding a complaint about Cllr Steve Foulkes?

At the Standards Panel meeting involving a complaint about Cllr Foulkes, the public were prevented from both attending and filming.

So yes, in scenes that remind me of the film Groundhog Day, watch below as councillors would rather adjourn the whole meeting, than have some openness and transparency.

Councillors were repeatedly advised by a solicitor advising the Licensing Act 2003 Committee to allow filming, but some chose to ignore him.

The vote was as follows.

For a filming ban (that they have no power to impose and is in my view unlawful) (7)
Cllr David Burgess-Joyce (Conservative)
Cllr Ron Abbey (Labour)
Cllr Chris Meaden (Labour)
Cllr Paul Stuart (Labour)
Cllr Denise Roberts (Labour)
Cllr George Davies (Labour)
Cllr Michael Sullivan (proposer, Labour))

Against a filming ban (2)
Cllr Bill Davies (Chair, Labour))
Cllr Dave Mitchell (Liberal Democrat)

You can watch below for what happened at the meeting itself. The 5 minute adjournment lasted twenty-six minutes.

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Licensing Act 2003 Committee (Wirral Council) 26th October 2016 Part 1 of 2

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Licensing Act 2003 Committee (Wirral Council) 26th October 2016 Part 2 of 2

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Author: John Brace

New media journalist from Birkenhead, England who writes about Wirral Council. Published and promoted by John Brace, 134 Boundary Road, Bidston, CH43 7PH. Printed by UK Webhosting Ltd t/a Tsohost, 113-114 Buckingham Avenue, Slough, Berkshire, England, SL1 4PF.

9 thoughts on “Wirral Council defy law (for the 4th time) to ban filming at public meeting to discuss alcohol”

  1. G’day John

    Keep up this great work John.

    You might have heard that I spent a couple of days in that court house over Kev and Stella’s Stinking Stagnant Wirral Waters that you enjoy visiting.

    A case involving a friend of “Highbrow’s” that was an absolute farce.

    Witnesses sat there saying they couldn’t remember, they couldn’t remember, they couldn’t remember, there bundle, sorry bundles were chaos (2 both different), their accountant witness didn’t turn up and were as if by a miracle were assessed by the judge as being honest.

    There was a LACUNA of £30,000.00 in their wages but she decided they were all honest without giving one valid reason or possibility of were the LACUNA was.

    Their slimy barista said LACUNA (the only thing he offered for his massive fee, the word LACUNA) I say knockoff.

    This case was of no significance to me but I must say there wasn’t an elephant in the room there was a great whopping big ASS.

    Your mate “Highbrow” tore the barista’s summing up to the judge to shreds and tatters it was humiliating for the poor overpaid buffoon who went to his stylist in the lunch break, I presume so he wouldn’t be recognised on his return to the court as the jester.

    I don’t think the judge had time to see her stylist or go shopping she would have spent her couple of hours re-writing her final speak after the barista’s summing up was trashed.

    Amazeballs the barista still won.

    So John what I am saying is wirral can do what they want because they know how the game work