Doncaster councillors raise issue of secret recordings in private sessions

Doncaster councillors have raised concerns about people secretly recording members' private discussions.

Friday, 6th July 2018, 1:38 pm
Updated Monday, 16th July 2018, 3:49 pm

Doncaster councillors have raised concerns about people secretly recording members' private discussions.

Committee members on Doncaster Council's licensing committee discussed the possibility of members of the public leaving recording devices inside the meeting room when they're asked to leave during deliberations.

Legally, members are allowed to discuss a licensing application with a legal adviser in private following evidence and submission from the applicant and objectors.

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The committee rule on off-licence applications, gambling permits and matters arising from council-licensed taxis.

Licensing chair, Coun Ken Keegan said the move was more of a 'precautionary measure'.

He said: "It was a fellow committee member who raised the issue and said with the advancing technology, this could very well happen without us knowing so.

"But as far as we know, we have no evidence to suggest this has ever happened but it was taken as more of a precautionary measure.

"I suppose people who deliberately recorded our deliberations if they ever did, might say the legal adviser on the recording was directing to us to a certain decision. That is never the case, they never have any input in our decision - they're are there purely to give us legal direction.

"We agreed that everyone from the press, public, objectors and applicants when leaving the meeting room should take all their belongings with them and this happened at the last meeting."

Minutes published on the council website said: "A number of concerns were raised by Members with regard to the possibility of any individuals undertaking covert recordings during the deliberations at a hearing.

"It was agreed that a revision be made to make this clear that it would not be allowed to happen, and that all attendees would be requested to move their personal belongings from the room during this process unless directed otherwise."