Hampshire Council spent £223,000 filming meetings for just 57 viewers

July 30, 2012 12:20 PM

Reports say that Hampshire County Council has spent £223,000 on streaming equipment so that residents can tune in to watch council meetings.  But despite terrible viewing figures - just 57 tuned in to the last meeting -  council leaders insist it’s “a good use of taxpayers’ money”.

The channel has seen plummeting audiences since it started, with 800 tuning in to watch February’s pilot meeting, 167 in April, 108 in May, falling to a paltry 57 this month. One councillor even admitted that the numbers were boosted by his relatives tuning in, he said:“My daughter watches from Hong Kong to see what her father is up to”. Very nice but there are, of course, many other ways for relatives to stay in touch.

This is an exceptional waste of money but rather than admit it’s been a flop, it’s ridiculous that some councillors continue to sing its praises. Thankfully not all of Hampshire’s councillors are as deluded as the Conservative leadership. Councillor Keith House, Liberal Democrat opposition spokesman agreed it was a “waste of money”.

Councillors in Hampshire need to end this costly scheme and try to claw back some of the £223,000 of taxpayers’ money it’s already spent. Streaming the meetings live on the web may help the Council to be more open and transparent, but it's simply absurd to think that it costs nearly a quarter of a million pounds of taxpayers' cash to do it.Reports say that Hampshire County Council has spent £223,000 on streaming equipment so that residents can tune in to watch council meetings.  But despite terrible viewing figures - just 57 tuned in to the last meeting -  council leaders insist it’s “a good use of taxpayers’ money”.

The channel has seen plummeting audiences since it started, with 800 tuning in to watch February’s pilot meeting, 167 in April, 108 in May, falling to a paltry 57 this month. One councillor even admitted that the numbers were boosted by his relatives tuning in, he said:“My daughter watches from Hong Kong to see what her father is up to”. Very nice but there are, of course, many other ways for relatives to stay in touch.

This is an exceptional waste of money but rather than admit it’s been a flop, it’s ridiculous that some councillors continue to sing its praises. Thankfully not all of Hampshire’s councillors are as deluded as the Conservative leadership. Councillor Keith House, Liberal Democrat opposition spokesman agreed it was a “waste of money”.

Councillors in Hampshire need to end this costly scheme and try to claw back some of the £223,000 of taxpayers’ money it’s already spent. Streaming the meetings live on the web may help the Council to be more open and transparent, but it's simply absurd to think that it costs nearly a quarter of a million pounds of taxpayers' cash to do it.

Latest Blogs:

TaxPayers' Alliance Icon

Aid spending needs to be more transparent

4:55 PM 08, Dec 2016 Harry Fairhead

TaxPayers' Alliance Icon

The sugar tax and the public finances

6:00 AM 05, Dec 2016 Harry Fairhead

TaxPayers' Alliance Icon

Working for the taxman

6:00 AM 26, Nov 2016 Harry Fairhead

TaxPayers' Alliance Icon

Further thoughts on the Autumn Statement

4:56 PM 24, Nov 2016 James Price