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Welsh council bans reporters from publishing Twitter updates during meeting – editor ‘baffled’

By Andrew Pugh

A Welsh council banned reporters from live tweeting at a meeting this morning.

The ban by Wrexham County Borough Council was highlighted on Twitter by Daily Post editor Alison Gow, who told followers she was “angry and baffled” by the decision.

Gow suggested it was “undemocratic” to ban tweets from the meeting – held to discuss a rise in school bus service fares in the area – given that some local authorities now regularly live stream council meetings.

Wrexham Council said the ban was imposed under Standing Order 45 of the council’s constitution:

45   *PHOTOGRAPHS AND RECORDING AT MEETINGS

Proceedings at meetings may not be photographed, videoed, sound recorded or transmitted in any way outside the meeting without prior permission of the Chair.  Failure to comply with this Standing Order may invoke Standing Orders 15 and 16 relating to Disorderly Conduct and Disturbance by members of the public.

Standing Order 16, relating to ‘disturbances by members of the public’, states:

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(1)     If a member of the public interrupts the proceedings at any meeting the Chair of the meeting shall ask the person concerned to behave properly and shall warn him/her.  If the misbehaviour continues the Chair of the meeting shall ask the person concerned to leave the meeting.

(2)     If the person refuses to leave the Chair of the meeting shall order the person’s removal from the meeting.

(3)     If the disorder continues, and if it is impractical to continue with the meeting the Chair of the meeting shall suspend the meeting temporarily until order can be restored.

Here is some of the reaction to today's news on Twitter:

 

UPDATE: 12.15pm

According to the Wrexham.com website the ban has been in place for at least 20 months.

 

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