Online live-streaming of Scarborough Council meetings - here's how much money would be saved

Scarborough Council will look to stream its meetings live on Facebook or Youtube in the future in a bid to save money.

By Carl Gavaghan, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Thursday, 2nd January 2020, 11:08 am
Updated Thursday, 2nd January 2020, 11:09 am

Currently, meetings of the full council, cabinet and planning committee are streamed on the authority’s website via the Public-i system.

The council’s contract with Public-i is coming to an end and new ways of streaming the meetings have been examined.

No-confidence vote in council leader to be heard tomorrow, see HEREA report prepared for the cabinet member of legal, democratic and governance, Cllr Tony Randerson before Christmas showed that webcasting the meetings and archiving them on the website costs just under £16,000 a year.

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Council chamber in Scarborough

Cllr Randerson has now approved a move to allow the council to stream meetings on Facebook or Youtube, which will involve a one-off cost of £6,530 for items including cameras and a roving microphone.

The report added that while the change would allow the council to store unlimited meetings to be viewed again and improve the picture quality the cameras would be fixed and not look at the person speaking as is currently the case.

Figures show that the webcasts of meetings have proved popular.

The report stated: “As at the end of October 2019, there have been 16,516 views of the council’s webcasts amounting to a total length of viewing of 5,478.9 hours.

“The total number of visits for the same period was 30,941. Of this total about 32% (9,900 views) were internal.

“The meeting with the highest number of views (more than three times the second highest) was the full council meeting held on 9 January 2017 when members considered the proposed demolition of the Futurist Theatre and adjoining buildings and stabilisation of the cliff.

“This meeting attracted a total of 1,545 views and 5,018 visits.”

Under the changes, which will come into effect in May 2020, all public council meetings held in the main council chamber would be streamed online.