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Bexley Council webcasts first meeting at new Bexleyheath offices
Bexley Council held its first ever meeting at its brand new offices, which broke new ground by being webcast online.
Last night was the first time residents had been able to watch councillors in action on their own computer screens for the first full meeting of the council at the borough’s new headquarters in the Woolwich Building.
As of 12pm today 191 people had tuned in to watch the webcast.
The council chamber in Watling Street was packed to the rafters to see new and returning councillors take their seats following May’s elections.
Sidcup project manager and fundraiser Grant Blowers, 41, was one of those who watched proceedings online.
Mr Blowers, who lives in Norfolk Crescent, said: “For them to go for this I thought was very good.
“If they maintain this rather than it just being a year-long experiment it will be really good for democracy that people can tune in when they want to.
“The only problem was when microphones weren’t turned on the camera didn’t follow that councillor.
“I think if they can overcome issues like that it will be a very good method of bringing meetings to people’s homes.”
Full council, cabinet and planning committee meetings will be screened online as part of a year-long experiment.
A motion was also passed consolidating the council’s seven overview and scrutiny committees into three covering resources, people and places.
Labour leader Councillor Alan Deadman said: “It is not going to do justice to what we need to do in overview and scrutiny.
“We cannot screw down education and social services all in one meeting.”
Visit bexley.public-i.tv/core/ to watch meetings online.
The next to be broadcast will be the planning committee on June 19.
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