Photo: West Leeds Dispatch

Armley Forum: Council set to livestream meeting on Facebook

6 July 2016

The next meeting of the Armley Forum is set to be streamed live on Facebook, giving more people the chance to take an interest in community issues.

Members Leeds City Council’s Communities Team West North West are hoping to trial the livestreaming on Tuesday 19th July.

It’s the first time in Leeds the council has livestreamed an event in this manner. More details of the livestreaming will be available on the council’s Inner West Community Committee Facebook page.

The decision comes as a direct result of a West Leeds Dispatch article calling for more meetings to be livestreamed following a poor turnout to a similar meeting in Kirkstall earlier this year.

It’s hoped the move will allow more people to be aware of what’s happening in their communities. The trial could be rolled out for other meetings if successful.

Meetings of Leeds City Council’s top decision-making body – the executive board – and meetings of full council are already broadcast live over the internet.

The Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire, Mark Burns-Williamson, will be attending the meeting. He oversees policing across the county and is interested to hear what Armley residents think should be the policing priorities for the next few years.

The meeting will also include an update on the work to the former Mike’s Carpets building on Branch Road, which is nearly completed.

The Armley Forum meeting starts at 7pm in Armley Library. All welcome to attend (and watch).



Comment on this article

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Dan says:

IMO, this is going the wrong direction: it is getting the meeting online for the sake of getting it online: it adds complexity without delivering any significant enhancement to the functionality of a meeting.
Most meetings that I have attended have been pushed for time, providing a video feed and inviting online input will do nothing to address that issue while compounding the problem.

What I think we should be doing is extending the meeting out into the world of internet chat, a bit like we are doing now: you have reported on the meeting and I am discussing with you the matters arising.

If you had instead published the actual minutes, and all of the relevant people were commenting, then all of their input can be taken into consideration before any final decision be made.

westleedslife says:

Hi Dan

You make some interesting points. I guess this is all experimental at the moment.

Armley Forum usually wraps in about an hour, so I don’t think time’s going to be a big problem (nor, indeed, is it likely to have such significant numbers watching and interacting with it that it delays the meeting too much). Besides, I think the interaction side is still to be worked out (if, indeed there is any – there isn’t on full council and exec board).

If you were to go down the traditional route of printing minutes (or indeed the Dispatch doing a report, which we often do) nothing would get decided for days, which I’m sure would be frustrating and impractical to those attending. Hence the need for ‘real time’ coverage.

But we’ll see how it goes. One thing’s for sure, you’re never going to please everyone all of the time.

Personally I think anything which widens interest in – and this is important – a medium relevant to today’s audience – is to be applauded as a starting point.

Dan says:

I should perhaps add that my comments were general, and not intended as criticism of Armley Forum.
And the point depends on the nature of the decisions: clearly some things want deciding there and then, but many long term decisions can take as long as they need.
Even with the former type, there are specifics of them that folk might want to talk over.
And yes, all good efforts should be applauded and we do need to find a format relevant to today’s audience, but how do we make council meetings “on demand”?