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South Tyneside Council to consider webcam for Town Hall

I read a very interesting report yesterday which is being considered by South Tyneside councillors and it includes the possibility of installing a webcam in the council chamber of South Shields Town Hall, this is a move which I have long favoured and called for, however I do not necessarily agree that it needs to be as professionally executed or as expensive as the systems operated by other councils, at least not at the outset.

A small wide angled webcam could be mounted with the voting screen above the Mayor’s chair, so long as it has a microphone, and the cabling could share the same route. If it were installed for a “trial period” it could be operated in house without the need for a rental agreement with an external company, thus saving a few thousand pounds. Streaming software is available free and open source and should not provide any serious problems in getting the pictures and sound out to the internet, once up and running it will only require someone to be trained to switch the service on and off as required.

At the very least the online community will received some sort of service and viewing figures could then be evaluated to determine whether or not they provide something worth continuing.

There really is no need for great expense when a little inventiveness and ingenuity may suffice in extending the democratic openness to the wider community.

Besides, don’t you just love the idea of us watching them instead of them watching us with their cctv cameras?

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Written by curly

August 5, 2009 at 10:13 am

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