Let Tower Hamlets council meetings be filmed, Mayor Rahman is urged

PUBLISHED: 11:57 09 July 2013 | UPDATED: 11:57 09 July 2013

The Mayor of Tower Hamlets is being urged to drop opposition to live streaming council meetings and let them be filmed by the public.

It follows a row involving Town Hall security staff threatening to call police when disabled pensioner John Wright, 71, was caught filming the council meeting on his pocket camera from his wheelchair in the public gallery.

Mayor Lutfur Rahman has overruled a council proposal in 2012 for live streaming, claim Opposition Labour councillors.

Labour Group Leader Sirajul Islam said: “We should be transparent and accountable to those who elect us.

“Technology is widely available, so there’s no reason why elected politicians would want to hide from the public.”

The Mayor’s office insisted that new regulations on filming do not apply to full council meetings, only executive and committee meetings.

But the public may be able to film council meetings in neighbouring Newham, following government pressure to make local authorities more accountable. A legal report goes before Newham Council on Monday to change the rules that ban sound or video recording at meetings.

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