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Meetings could go online

Ratepayers in the Newry and Mourne area could watch Council meetings online. At a recent Newry Mourne and Down District Council Meeting it was process in a notice of motion from Councillors Davy Hyland and Declan McAteer proposed that the new council “streams” its meetings on the internet. Newry and Mourne District Council had previously streamed its meetings before the end of its tenure earlier this year. Councillors Hyland and McAteer said: “This is a worthwhile exercise that provided local residents and ratepayers with an opportunity to view important Council meetings where decisions were taken which had an impact on their families and neighbourhoods.” Belfast City Council was held up as an example at the meeting it has the technology to stream meetings but viewing numbers are low. The motion was supported by DUP Councillor William Burns and DUP Councillor William Walker who questioned if a new webpage proposed for council could tie in with this. Councillor Walker said: “I am a great believer that the public should be able to see what their councillors are doing at these meetings and who is in attendance.” The motion was also supported by Councillors Taylor, Enright, Hanna and Stokes. The cost of streaming meetings had previously been estimated in 2013 but had proved too expensive. Council was previously quoted nearly £”0k for a one year contract and £34 for two years. The new council is to further investigate the costs and will report findings to a later meeting.

Newry Democrat

9th June 2015