Council meetings should be broadcast live on the internet to get more people engaged with politics, that’s according to Chris Murtagh, Fine Gael Mullingar-Kilbeggan Local Election candidate.
He believes this would increase transparency and encourage greater understanding and participation in local decision-making processes. “By opening up public meetings to a wider audience in this way it will empower local residents and communities,” he said.
Residents from all corners of the county, who may not normally have the opportunity to attend meetings themselves, will be able to follow the discussions and debates that are streamed live over the internet, from a computer in their home, school, or office.
“I know of three county councils who are presently live streaming their meetings. It is time that more of our councils do this and I am calling on Westmeath County Council to take steps to broadcast proceedings of meetings live over the internet,” Mr Murtagh explained.
“It will improve the accessibility of the electorate to the decisions taken by the elected councillors and council executive.
“Westmeath County Council has an award-winning information technology department and live streaming of public county council meetings is inexpensive. Church services are broadcast and Mullingar’s St Patrick’s Day parade was again live streamed this year. So why not our county council meetings?
“Streaming proceedings live would stop some of our elected councillors hiding from the public. Engagement with the public is key to a vibrant, successful local democracy, but you won’t get that engagement by hiding behind the doors of the council chamber. It is all the more important that residents can see how decisions are made and hold all councillors to account,” he added.