delete Standing Order 19.4 and change the MFRA Meeting Reporting Protocol and Procedure
This petition had 7 supporters
Earlier this year on August 6th, new regulations called the Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2014 came into effect which prevented the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority from stopping filming at its public meetings.
However standing order 19.4 allows Chairs of meetings to stop filming. Standing Order 19.4 (which is part of the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority constitution) currently states:
"No record (including tape and television recording) of the whole or any part of the proceedings of a Meeting may be taken without the express permission of the Meeting concerned."
Also the MFRA Meeting Reporting Protocol and Procedure currently states:
"He or she will then ask attendees whether they agree to be filmed, photographed and/or audio-recorded to allow them to register a personal objection. If anyone has a personal objection then the Chair can temporarily suspend filming, photographing and/or audio-recording to allow attendees to have their say. Note: this does not apply to Members and officers. If the Chair considers the filming, photographing and/or audio-recording is disrupting the meeting he/she can instruct you to stop doing so."
These lines need to be deleted from the current MFRA Meeting Reporting Protocol and Procedure as it refers to a legal power that was repealed in August 2014.
Without these changes, chairs of public meetings of the MFRA will be misled into thinking they have powers they don't and may exercise these in the future to unlawfully stop filming of a public meeting.
I urge you to sign this petition so the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority brings both its constitution, protocol and procedures into line with what the law states. Thank you.
P.S. I have been filming some of the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority public meetings since the new law came into effect. You can view the latest meeting of the Consultation and Negotiation Sub-Committee discussing the upcoming strike here.
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