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Tuesday, 26 February 2013 14:20

MEETINGS of Carmarthenshire County Council are set to be broadcast live as part of an e-government initiative aimed at improving services to the public.

A presentation was given to members of the cross party Business Management Group last week for live streaming of meetings which would enable people to view proceedings as they happen.

The footage will also be available to view on the county council website after the meetings.

The pilot project, which is expected to cost around £20,000 per annum, is being funded through a Welsh Government grant.

The grant will also provide funding for improvements to town and community council websites.

The move follows the findings of a task and finish group, set up by the council to look at the e-government agenda, and how new technology can improve customer service.

Filming will take place at meetings of full council, and footage is planned to go out live and unedited.

Council Leader Cllr Kevin Madge said: “The Business Management Group agreed to proceed with a 12-month pilot scheme for filming meetings of full council. This proposal will now go to the Full Council for approval.

“It will give more people access to our meetings, live via the website, and the full unedited version will remain available on our site for those who wish to view the proceedings after the meeting ends. This is part of our commitment to open and transparent government and I hope it will be of interest to people who will be able to view debates as they take place.”

The pilot scheme is scheduled start in the near future, with a date to be determined shortly.

Opposition Leader Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths said: “I welcome this as a positive move in the right direction towards making council meetings accessible to local people.

“I was very impressed with the presentation we were given, which far surpassed my expectations of what the technology available could deliver.”

The task and finish group also made recommendations for increasing and improving online services and using new technology to provide better communication to residents.

Deputy Leader Cllr Pam Palmer said: “There are already over 100 online services available through our website, from registering for a council house to reporting fly-tipping or reserving books at one of our libraries. We have recently launched a new interactive mapping service and will shortly be going live with an exciting new on-line registration service which will allow people to receive up to the minute news and alerts on a wide range of council services.

“Broadcasting our meetings will be another added feature on our rapidly improving website.”

Visit www.carmarthenshire.gov.uk


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