At tomorrow's Full Council meeting we will be debating the web-casting of council meetings. The motion is a cross-party effort inititated by Andrew Wallis and sponsored by my colleagues Rob Nolan and Jeremy Rowe.
I'm fully in favour of the move as it would increase the openness and transparency of the council. I don't however, pretend that it is a silver bullet to increase understanding of the council's workings, nor do I think that there will be huge numbers of people eagerly tuning in to watch us debating.
However, it is a useful extra tool which should not cost a huge amount. The hardware (and sofetware) required is pretty standard and could be installed without much fuss.
But simply web-casting meetings is just a first step. The second step is to make sure that Cornish residents have the chance to react to what they see and hear and use the extra information to make their views known to the council and councillors.
I have said in the past that I think Cornwall Council is being pretty forward thinking in its social media policy. The use of web-casting could be a big advance, but it needs to be a two way process, not simply a broadcast system that doesn't listen to what people think.
UPDATE - The motion to full council passed overwhelmingly although there was an attempt to the whole project subject to a scrutiny investigation. Fortunatley, that move failed.