It would cost less to hire a taxi and drive everyone who watches Greenwich Council meeting live online broadcasts to the town hall than continue to run the webcast.
This is according to Councillor Maureen O’Mara, when responding to a question put to her at the full Greenwich Council meeting on February 22.
In what was described as a “tetchy” response by Cllr Matt Hartley, she said “‘what am I supposed to do?” when asked how to improve the viewing figures.
Just 59 unique IP addresses viewed the archived footage of the council’s October meeting, with not a single person watching it live.
Similar figures existed for later meetings, with only 52 individuals watching the December meeting and 68 watching the January meeting.
The webcasting contract costs £9,400 per year and £1,040 for every 30 hours of broadcast.
These figures are what prompted Cllr O’Mara to sarcastically suggest hiring taxis for each person who watches the broadcasts to drive them to the town hall.
Cllr O’Mara said: “In spite of our attempts to open up full council meetings and encourage more local residents to take an interest in our decision-making processes, the viewing figures speak for themselves.
“On a night when the council is discussing council tax rates, I am sure that Councillor Hartley would agree that there does not appear to be any desire from residents for webcasting to be extended at this point, a move that would incur additional fit-out and ongoing running costs.
“Based upon the current viewing figures, it would have been cheaper for the council to pay for a taxi to transport everyone who watched the last couple of meetings down to the town hall so that they could have be here in person.
“The broadcast is there and if people don’t want to watch because they want to watch something far more interesting on television then that’s up to them and I don’t see quite what we’re supposed to do about this.
“I hope this will now draw a line under this matter and that we can deal with the matters that residents really care about.”