Update: The alleged not so public public meeting

Yesterday I wrote about the extraordinary steps taken by a local authority in Wales following what they described as “an apparent continued campaign of disruption in the interest of securing publicity”.

Today Cardiff Council contacted me in the following terms:

I can confirm that Public Council Meetings are open to all members of the public and that there is no requirement to wear a pass other than any pass that is required for the particular venue (e.g. County Hall requires visitors to wear a pass)

Their response made no mention of requirements to sign undertakings and I have pressed them for an answer on this point as it is, in my view, the concerning element of the steps taken by Carmarthenshire County Council in relation to this.  One can understand the issuing of passes to visitors to differentiate between staff and visitors and that is commonplace in organisations around the world.

17:14 15/07/2011 – Cardiff Council confirm that there are no policies, procedures or standing orders requiring members of the public to sign undertakings prior to being permitted entry to watch public council meetings.

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One thought on “Update: The alleged not so public public meeting

  1. Up until this week there was no requirement to wear a pass in Carmarthen, probably because access to the public gallery was from an external door, and visitors could not access any other part of the building without swipe cards.

    The decision to lock the external doors meant that visitors to the public gallery now have to go to the main entrance and access the gallery via a different route, passing offices, etc. on the way.

    Ironically, as a result of these changes, all visitors will now be clocked on the council’s CCTV system (remember how much they hate being filmed!), which must have cost a lot of money to install.

    Judging from the comments made by one of the security staff who accompanied me to the public gallery this week, it is almost a racing certainty that the council will eventually decide not to film its proceedings, citing cost as a major factor.

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