VIDEO recordings of Shetland Islands Council’s main committee meetings will be made available online from the start of next month.
A motion raised at a meeting of the full council on Wednesday said the recent roll-out of “hybrid” sessions which have included video contributions on Microsoft Teams has allowed the local authority to look into bringing meetings online more quickly.
The motion written by chairs of the council’s committees, as well convener Malcolm Bell, said: “The council notes the need to learn from impact of Covid-19 related restrictions and build back better.
“The council notes the long-standing desire to increase public accessibility to decision making process.
“The council notes the success of hybrid meetings utilising technology and the ability to implement changes in quick order.”
Council leader Steven Coutts paid credit to those working in ICT helping to facilitate meetings going virtual during lockdown.
“It demonstrates that can-do attitude and I think it’s to be welcomed,” he said.
“I think we have to grasp the opportunity that we have got.”
Coutts said he would like meetings to be uploaded online on the same day but would prefer live broadcasts later down the line.
He also stressed a desire to see the full suite of meetings to broadcast in the future.
The idea received the full support of the council chamber.
South mainland member George Smith, though, said he hoped it could encourage “more political debate and less questions”.
Lerwick north councillor Amanda Hawick, meanwhile, said she called in 2017 for all council meetings to be streamed live and described the motion as a “step forward”.
The following meetings will be made accessible from 1 August:
- Shetland Islands Council
- Policy and Resources Committee
- Development Committee
- Education and Families Committee
- Environment and Transport Committee.
The council had previously raised its desire to broadcast meetings once their home moved from downstairs in Lerwick Town Hall to the former St Ringan’s church.
The move is only going to be made once library services transfer out of the building.
Shetland Library is due to move to the old library building a stone’s throw away at Lower Hillhead once it is refurbished.
Become a supporter of Shetland News
Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.
Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.
Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has over 400 supporters who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.
Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -
- Bring you the headlines as they happen;
- Stay editorially independent;
- Give a voice to the community;
- Grow site traffic further;
- Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.
If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.
Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.Support Shetland News