I believe councillors should be accountable for their work for constituents. That’s one of the reasons I set up my blog From One End of Kent click here to visit. I also set up this site to record my work for Northwood residents. Since the televising of the House of Commons started in 1988 more and more councillors have used technology to communicate with voters.
Thanet District Council was resistant to this. As these newspaper articles show (click on the photos to enlarge them) I have consistently campaigned for Thanet’s Council meetings to be available via the internet. As millions use systems like BBC’s iplayer to watch television, more people have the opportunity to see what councillors do for them.
On 12th February 2009 I used my phone to provide a live blog of Thanet District Council’s meeting on whether there should be night flights at Manston Airport.
Click here for the report and local people’s comments.
This was the first time this had ever happened and many people thanked me for providing live coverage. The public seats at the meeting were full. People who were unable to attend the meeting could find out quickly what their councillors had said at the meeting.
Following my initiative, I am pleased that there is now broadcasting of meetings. I know my Labour colleagues are keen to continue this. Some Conservatives argue this is something that should be cut on budget grounds.
I don’t think you can put a price on democracy in action.
I have also written about this on my blog in these posts:
Thanet’s old fashioned rules on broadcasting meetings 27/1/2009
Thanet Conservatives opposing broadcasting of meetings 22/2/2009
I succeed in my campaign and a report on Broadcasting is produced
Thanet Council officers keen to look at best broadcasting practice elsewhere