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27/07/2021

Call for greater access to remote council meetings

Some members of the public have voiced frustration about access.

Call for greater access to remote council meetings

Both constituents and councillors have called for Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council to open their online meetings for wider public viewing.

Both outgoing mayor Sean Bateson and his successor Mark Fielding described the meetings to date as ‘successful’, but some constituents have taken to social media to voice their frustration.

At present, members of the public can request access to the online meetings through a member of the council staff, but some councillors have called for the process to be made easier.

Cllr Kathleen McGurk has called for the meetings to be made more widely available.

“I am confident the technology exists to open meetings up to the public and hope to see it rolled out in the very near future,” she said.

“The draft protocol called for any member of the public wishing to access council meetings to register their request with the Democratic Services team and a link would then be provided for access to the meeting. 

“I argued that this created unnecessary barriers to the public and meetings should simply be broadcast via a link from the council’s website.

“This would open up council business for greater scrutiny from the public and perhaps attract a new audience for council meetings. This can only be a positive for democracy at local government level.

“I would encourage anyone interested in remotely accessing a council meeting to get in touch with Democratic Services and get registered.”

Anyone wishing to join a council meeting should email sinead.duggan@causewaycoastandglens.gov.uk.

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