Bingo cards, bloggers and basic web technology have helped hundreds of residents see what happens at Telford & Wrekin Council meetings.
Hundreds of people have been following proceedings at Full Council by following live streaming feeds they can log onto. Scores more catch-up with the recordings too.
The initiative has seen a massive surge in people following what is going on.
But the scheme itself was dreamt up by residents themselves and works with the help of the council.
How did it start? When resident Jake was watching the Parliament TV channel and posted on Twitter about how this may work online for the council where he lives.
Mark from the Lightmoor Live blog which serves the village and Jake were then approached by Nigel Newman in the Telford & Wrekin comms team, who had picked up on the tweet, to see how the council could help to make the idea happen. The Council had recently revised its policies to allow public filming recording at its meetings.
Once this was approved Jake helped by Mark used an iPhone on a tripod and the bambuser app to stream proceedings.
An online viewer of that meeting Jon contacted Jake and Mark via twitter wishing to help and brought in the idea of using a Google hangout to broadcast the second meeting. Sound quality was improved at a third meeting by plugging into the in-house audio with a Google hangout used linked to YouTube to allow people to follow better quality images.
The Council’s team was on hand to help guide the bloggers through the meeting, explaining who’s who to support captions when councillors spoke and other intricacies of council meetings.
by Russell Griffin,
Telford and Wrekin Borough Council