lcc logoToday has seen the launch of web casting of council meetings at Leeds City Council. The new initiative launched with live coverage of two council meetings this afternoon:  one full council session and one smaller session.

The live streaming of the smaller session began at 1:15pm today.

The site can be found here.

Cat Milburn of Leeds City Council’s press office told Prolific North that trials of the new service have been ongoing for some time with the first trial of a full meeting  being accessed 588 times and a further 1037 times after the meeting in its archive form.

The intention is to broadcast all future council meetings through 2013/14. Full council meetings are held every five to six weeks said Milburn.

The production kit has been installed by Public-i Group which is based in Hove, East Sussex.

Four fixed cameras have been installed in the council meeting room which are linked to a voice-activated mic which is controlled by a delegated admin person at the meetings. He or she activates the mic whenever any person speaks and the nearest fixed camera can then follow that person.

Councillor Keith Wakefield, leader of Leeds City Council, said: “An important part of democracy is making sure local people have access to what is happening in their city.

“We are committed to making the democratic processes at the council as open and transparent as possible – and this are one way to make it easier for our residents to see how this part of the council works.

“We have trialled the technology at previous meetings, with the help of specialists, so this time round we are testing the equipment and controlling it ourselves, so please do bear with us if we hit any hurdles.”