A move to open up East Riding Council meetings held in Beverley to people from Pocklington has been rejected by councillors.
Two motions to allow meetings to be filmed and broadcast online, and to allow mobile devices into meetings, were voted down by the Conservative majority at the full council meeting in Beverley last Wednesday.
A separate petition by a campaign group to urge East Riding Council to record and broadcast its meetings “in the interest of transparency and democracy” has also been set up.
Labour Councillor Josh Newlove wants all council and committee meetings to be broadcast live and on demand on the internet, and has vowed that the ‘fight for transparency will continue’.
Tweeting after the event, he said “Very much enjoyed a good fiery debate at council today, but sad the public won’t see such in future.
“A bad day for East Riding democracy.”
He argued that: “We need to engage people in the political system, because one of my big worries is that we now have a generation who are massively disengaged. Let’s get them engaged by modernising the way we operate.”
During the debate on allowing meetings to be filmed, Councillor Newlove slammed the Tory administration for denying people the right to see, hear and access easily on the web the views of the people they elect and pay for through their taxes.
He also cited the range of other democratic institutions that film all their meetings for the public to access online, such as Parliament, the GLA, and indeed many other local authorities. Neighbouring Hull City Council have filmed meetings on the web for years.
Labour councillor Shelagh Finlay said: “Since I became an ERYC ward councillor over two years ago I began to see why many residents are disenfranchised from the workings of the council.”