On Wednesday night, I attended the Shilton Annual Parish Meeting, held at the Village Hall in Shilton. This is not strictly a parish council meeting, but gives the opportunity for community representatives to report back to local residents on how the past year has gone within their organisations, and to look forward to the year ahead.
Sadly, it has been my experience that these meetings are sparsely attended, and Wednesday was no different. At best, it could be argued that four members of the public turned up (in addition to the parish councillors and those other individuals that were submitting reports) - although three of the four were connected to the BASIS magazine themselves and the other person was the wife of the Chairman! Before next year's Annual Parish Meeting is held, I think some serious thought needs to be given as to what people might actually want from this meeting and how it might better engage their attention.
Still, for everyone who wanted to attend but couldn't for whatever reason, here's something new from my blog.
Ever since I attended the WALC Annual Seminar in March and sat in on the presentation given by Nick Booth from Podnosh, I've become interested in the idea of recording parish council meetings and posting them online for people to listen to at their convenience. I firmly believe that local residents would become more interested in what parish councils do if they knew more about the things that are discussed. And whilst I don't expect people to sit through hours of meetings in order to hear the one bit of information that they're interested in, there's no reason that I can see not to bring the meetings to people's own homes by way of an audio recording posted online.
When Shilton Parish Council discussed this idea earlier this year, it'd be fair to say that it did not receive universal support (the general view being closer to universal rejection!). But in fairness, there was the suggestion that the Annual Parish Meeting be recorded and posted online. And so here it is.
I've reproduced the agenda below, with timings indicating when each item can be heard, so I'd suggest you fast forward to the bits you're interested in. I must warn you not to expect crystal clear, DAB broadcast quality sound, but certainly most of what I listened to is reasonably clear and people's voices can be clearly heard.
And now a request from me. If you like the idea of being able to listen to future Shilton Parish Council meetings online, when it suits you how, where and when to listen, then you need speak out in favour of this in one of three ways. Click on the 'reactions' button at the bottom of this post to the one that most closely reflects your view, or leave a comment saying what you think. Alternatively, email the Clerk and tell her why you think all parish council meetings should be recorded. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and let her know what you think.
The most likely way to get Shilton Parish Council to change its mind on this matter is to let us know that you, the Council Tax payers, want more meetings recorded and made available to listen to. So, it's up to you.
Anyway, enough of my party political broadcast. Time to 'enjoy' the 2011 Shilton Annual Parish Meeting:
Shilton Annual Parish Meeting 18 May 2011.mp3 (hold down CTRL when clicking on this link to open in a new window)
1. Welcome from Councillor Bill King (0:00:00)
2. Minutes of last year's Annual Parish Meeting (0:00:26)
3. Matters arising from the minutes (0:06:59)
4. County Councillor Phillip Morris-Jones' report (0:07:21)
5. Borough Councillor Tony Gillias' report (0:16:51)
6. Parish Council Chairman Bill King's report (0:41:39)
7. Shilton Playing Fields Committee's report (1:02:31)
8. Shilton Village Hall Committee's report (1:08:02)
9. Barnacle Village Hall Committee's report (1:09:40)
10. BASIS magazine editor's report (1:13:45)
11. Shilton and Ansty Trust report (1:26:15)
12. Any Other Business (1:31:10)
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