From this week we all now have a new legal right to tweet, film & blog from council meetings in England.This is known as Right To Report :
This will mean that belligerent, camera shy Councillors ( that’ll be you Councillor Steve ” No Strike ” Nibbers O’Niblock and Councillor Harry “Crisp Packet” Smith ) will need to have a makeover and be ready for their close-ups courtesy of keen cinematographer John Brace – who has now firmly established himself as Wirral’s answer to Cecil B.De Mille.
In what must have been the last meeting he filmed before it became a legal right Mr.Brace treats us to a recording of a meeting of Birkenhead Constituency Committee held on July 24th 2014 (and from which we have taken the rather delightful still above)
There are 5 parts to this cinematic magnum opus on Youtube but to be perfectly honest we soon got bored of what seemed to be The Frankenfield Drone Show and found ourselves fast forwarding through the recordings.
However it seemed to us that at whatever random point you watched the recordings the Committee was talking crap.
No change there then you might say.
However this time we mean dog crap, fly tipping and dumping.The Committee seemingly confirming “The Maddox Maxim” ( former Chief Executive Stevie once declaring at a public meeting that all that the people of Wirral were interested in was dog crap).
Not to decry the people of Birkenhead and these may be genuine concerns but we must say that if the level of debate is confined to crap it says something about the limit of the Committee’s ambition.
We also glimpsed Power Boy Pip having a petulant pop at Local Government Minister Eric Pickles’ edict concerning the legitimacy of spending public money on town hall “Pravda” publications.Pip couldn’t understand why they couldn’t go straight to press with all the news about the fabulous work that the Birkenhead Constituency Committee is doing.
However could it be that, as yet , there’s actually nothing to put in the newsletter other than decidedly un -alluring pictures of what was described as “dog fouling hot spots” (no,seriously).
Legal spoilsport Two-bit Bore then chipped in that it would be best to check as to whether their Pravda publication proposal was actually legal.
They all laughed when Frankenfield suggested that yes that it might be an idea to check on the legal aspects (no doubt the hilarity was ironic as we all know that legalities have not always been a prime concern of Wirral Council)
Other glimpses include a Council Officer genuflecting in the general direction of Frankenfield with the mantra: “Through you Chair ……through you Chair…..through you Chair”
At this point an exasperated Ladyship groaned : “I know what I’d like to put through the chair ….” and went back to watching her more usual type of Youtube “Epic Fail” videos.
Why hasn’t SRJ 1T got HIS hand up?
The previous day I’d been filming a planning appeal followed by planning committee and had to use a backup card (which can’t do HD as it’s not a class 10 card).
I forgot the camera was still in this mode and not HD when I recorded the B’head Constituency Committee. So apologies for that.
As to the meeting itself, when the Rt Hon Frank Field MP said the line about legalities they looked straight at Martin Morton (who was behind the camera and out of shot). This may explain the laughter.. however whether a joke at a whistleblower’s expense is considered good manners or not is not really for me to comment on…
I long for the day when they become subject to the ‘Rotherham Syndrome’!