We support the principle of transparency and encourage filming, recording and taking photographs at meetings that are open to the public. We also welcome the use of social networking and micro-blogging websites (such as Twitter and Facebook).
The terms of reference for meetings of the GCP Executive Board and Joint Assembly make it clear that the recording in any format of meetings is permitted, except where the Chairperson, or person presiding over the meeting, rules that filming is being undertaken in such a way that is disruptive or distracting to the good order and conduct of the meeting; or where the public have been excluded from the meeting during the consideration of exempt or confidential information. The full text of the terms of reference for the Board and Joint Assembly meetings are on the GCP website here.
For other meetings, GCP operates in accordance with guidance from the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government on Open and Accountable Local Government (available here). Public access and filming is allowed at public meetings and operates in line with Cambridgeshire County Council’s overall policy in regards to the filming and reporting of public meetings. That policy is available here.
The GCP’s principles regarding the filming of public meetings are set out below. These principles do not apply to specific stakeholder meetings or officer meetings.
- The recording (video and/or audio) of public meetings is allowed by default, excepting where the Chair or Senior Officer believes :
- the act of recording is intrusive on the conduct of the meeting (i.e. recording equipment should not obstruct others from accessing or viewing the meeting)
- a public disturbance or nuisance has been caused
- a matter of confidentiality has arisen, and the press and public have been formally excluded from the meeting
- there is a risk of the infringement of the rights of an individual
- there is a concern as to the safeguarding of a vulnerable person
- defamatory, inflammatory, or offensive statements are being made.
- Under any of the above circumstances, the Chair or Senior Officer may ask that recording cease and/or any equipment in the meeting space be removed. An explanation as to the grounds of such a decision will always be given.
- Live reporting on public meetings, via social media or similar tools, is encouraged, provided such reporting does not constitute a disruption to the meeting
- Reasonable accommodation will be made for those recording and /or reporting on meetings. (It may not be possible to accommodate large pieces of equipment, for example additional lighting, camera stabilisation equipment, additional audio equipment etc.)
- Persons wishing to record and/or report on meetings are not required to advise the GCP beforehand - however doing so may make it easier to provide suitable locations within the meeting to accommodate their equipment without causing disruption or inconvenience to other attendees.
- Recording and/or reporting should be undertaken in good faith, and resulting footage should not be edited to misrepresent the proceedings.
- Recording and/or reporting of meetings should respect the wishes of attendees who do not wish to be recorded.
- Persons presenting and/or addressing the meeting in a formal capacity: for example GCP Officers, Consultants, Board/Assembly Members, and Elected Members are assumed to have given consent for recording.
- Other attendees should not be recorded if they object.
- Children or vulnerable persons attending should not be recorded.
- While the GCP webcasts Executive Board and Joint Assembly meetings, this does not preclude any other person from recording and/or reporting on the same meeting
- Notices will be in place at the entry to public meetings, advising that recording may take place. The Chair or Senior Officer present may also advise attendees. Invitations, agendas, and other online information may also advise that filming may take place.
- Locations not in use for the meeting itself, e.g. reception areas, adjacent spaces etc. should not be included in recording. These spaces are often in use by other members of the public for purposes unrelated to the GCP public meetings, and recording could be an unwarranted intrusion of privacy.