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January 17 2014.

Last night's Seaford Town Council meeting was adjourned after about 30 minuets as councillors were unable to proceed when a member of the public refused to comply with the council’s current rules on filming. The police were called to eject the person who was attempting to film the meeting, but there were various views as to what could and could not be allowed and the meeting was abandoned.

Although the council understood that Eric Pickles MP has made recent announcements regarding filming, the Council view is that there has yet to be a change in the law.

The council is governed by Standing Orders, which are the procedural rules under which meetings are conducted. Under Seaford Town Council Standing Order 1n “Photographing, recording, broadcasting, or transmitting the proceeding of a meeting by any means is not permitted without the council’s prior consent.” Prior consent was not formally requested and every attempt was made to continue the meeting within the bounds of governing rules, however Standing order 34a prevents this rule being suspended by resolution immediately.

The council could change their rules for the future to allow filming, however to do this there is a procedure to follow which cannot be done until after the adjourned meeting is completed.

Seaford Town Clerk has today received a formal request from Cllr. Barry Burfield to include a motion for a process to consider enabling filming and recording in the future. This will be placed into the agenda for the next full council meeting scheduled for 10 April 2014.

The earliest date that the adjourned meeting can be reinstated is Thursday 23rd January 2014, however there is a Community Services Committee scheduled for this date; the meeting will be reconvened at the earliest convenient date following.