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Veteran South Kesteven councillor says colleague recording meetings "violates my human rights"

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A Deepings councillor says he will continue recording and taking photographs of council meetings, despite one veteran member saying it "violates my human rights."

Coun Ashley Baxter warned members last week he would record the meetings and post some of it on social media.

Former council leader Coun Bob Adams then told a council meeting on Friday it would be a “violition of my human rights” if he is photographed or filmed at them.

Coun Adams said postings on social media from Coun Baxter "could be construed as intimidation and bullying of members of council and members of the public.”

Coun Adams added he had no issue with the council recording meetings as they do it already in a controlled way, but he gave no permission for himself to feature on social media.

Coun Baxter replied he emailed councillors as a courtesy.

Coun Bob Adams (12509506)
Coun Bob Adams (12509506)

He told a meeting on Friday: “I reserve the right to take photos and video. I haven’t heard any reason why I shouldn’t. This is a public meeting. I do not wish to bully or intimidate anybody.”

He added former government minister Eric Pickles introduced such legislation allowing this, to make local government more accessible. SKDC also put pictures of meetings on social media.

“It’s nothing personal. I’m just doing my job.”

Coun Mark Whittington, vice-chair of the Finance, Economic Development and Corporate Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee, said he agreed with Coun Adams.

But Deepings Independent Phil Dilks said the law has changed and councillors must subject themselves to scrutiny and “we have to live with that.”

Council officers said they would check the legal position.

Since the Friday meeting, Coun Baxter also further sought information from SKDC on the issue.

He said today: "In the absence of any advice I will continue with photography and/or video."

A spokesperson for SKDC said: “The council adheres to the Openness of Local Government Regulations 2014, which permits the taking of photos, recordings, and the filming of all local government meetings that are held in public. The law also permits the reporting of public meetings on to social media.”

The relevant piece of legislation, can be found here.

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