Opening democracy - BBC allowed to film Aberystwyth Town Council meeting

Aberystwyth Town Council struck a small blow for a more transparent democracy last night when they allowed a BBC cameraman unrestricted access to film their meeting for the first time.

A few weeks previously the Council had altered its standing orders to allow the possibility of filming at meetings in the wake of the controversy surrounding Carmarthenshire Council which resolutely continues to ban all cameras and has had a transgressor with a mobile phone arrested. Aberystwyth Town Council voted unanimously last night to allow the filming. Ceredigion Council is currently considering its own policy.

The BBC were filming as part of a programme about the planned development of Mill Street car park.


  1. The beeb must have some line on this story. Have they picked up on the degree of local opposition to moving the Day Centre or the use of CPOs?

    Did the Town Council reach and express a corporate opinion on the proposals?

  2. In the end the meeting accepted legal advice to wait until an actual planning application is submitted before commenting in order to avoid being disqualified from that process.

    However Councillor Mark Strong's agenda item gives a general flavour:

    "Developments in Mill Street Car Park - Town Council stated policy regarding this development
    a. future security of those car parking places in the medium and long term
    b. Town council point of view towards demolition of houses for development
    c. Critique of manner development was planned.
    d. Any Conditions or concerns regarding development"

    As well as filming part of the meeting, the BBC conducted interviews with a range of people, including a resident of Glyndwr Road.

  3. good news re the filming and well done Aberystwyth TC, I will be very interested to see Ceredigion's decision on the subject.
    Jacqui Thompson

  4. I am told BBC filming is for a Week-In, Week-Out item. They were also at a public meeting re the Day Centre.

  5. I would have thought that one of the first blows in 'open democracy' would be to publish the town council minutes on the TC website - New Quay and Cardigan seem to manage it

  6. Yes, looking at the Town Council website, the minutes are available from Jan-Sept 2010 but not afterwards. I've forwarded your comment and hopefully this can be sorted out.

  7. Minutes are now up to dat and we were precluded from uploading due to a server error to whiich we were unaware. All sorted out now- Updates to other pages and general housekeeping also done.