Rhondda Cynon Taff, says maybe if you ask

After submitting nineteen FOI requests to Welsh councils, I have heard back form one.  Rhondda Cynon Taff have recently amended their constitution (20.1)  to include the following rule on filming and taking photographs at their council meetings:

“Proceedings at meetings may not be photographed, videoed, sound recorded or transmitted in anyway outside the meeting without prior permission of the Mayor. Failure to comply with this rule may invoke Rule 19.4 (Members to leave meeting) and 20.1 (Removal of members of the public).”

So what would happen to you under rule 20.1? Well the following…

“If a member of the public interrupts proceedings, the Mayor will warn the person concerned. If they continue to interrupt, the Mayor will order their removal from the meeting room.”

It is unclear how holding a phone (or any recording equipment) up in the public gallery could “interrupt proceedings”.  It is also unclear on what criteria the mayor will allow or disallow filming at council meetings.  I have replied to the council to clarify this point, and I am currently awaiting a reply.

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