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burgess hill town council Councillors Awarded Power To Film Members Of The Public

16th April 2015
By Peter Chapman

In August last year, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles introduced the 'Right to report' law which opened up council meetings and information to anyone that wanted it.

This included the ability to make video and audio recordings of council meetings and to take photographs. Filming members of the public at these meetings was prohibited unless permission was granted from the member of the public speaking.

Council Creates Own Rules
However, it seems Burgess Hill Town Council have introduced their own rules that trump the government whereby councillors are free to record members of the public.

Last Wednesday the 8th of April, your reporter (seated) had a councillor deliberately standing to the side of him ALL MEETING with an ipad mini pointed at his head.

Witnesses have come forward confirming what happened.

New town council clerk/ceo Steve Cridland has been made aware of these actions but has failed to respond to Burgess Hill Uncovered. Thus we can only conclude that it's perfectly legal and there's nothing to investigate.

Why would Burgess Hill Town Council want to directly film members of the public? What are they doing with this footage?

Burgess Hill Uncovered will now be contacting Mr Pickles office to query the rule at Burgess Hill Town Council.

Our advice to members of the public is NOT to attend ANY town council meetings at present if you don't want your every move/gesture/word to be on record and used for whatever purpose that Burgess Hill Town Council see fit.

We will update you when we receive a response from the office of Eric Pickles.

Spread the word, warn your fellow residents that Burgess Hill Town Council are filming people who attend council meetings.

Got an opinion on this story? Leave a comment below.....
What do you think of Burgess Hill Town Council permitting their councillors to film members of the public? Would this put you off attending meetings?

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