Filming, photography, recording and use of social networking at meetings

Shropshire and Wrekin Fire Authority supports the principle of transparency and encourages filming, recording and taking photographs at its meetings, which are open to the public.  It also welcomes the use of social networking websites (such as Twitter and Facebook) and micro-blogging to communicate with people about what is happening, as it actually happens.

There is no requirement to notify the Fire Authority in advance, but the Chair of the meeting will have absolute discretion to terminate or suspend any of the above activities if, in  his or her opinion, continuing with them might prejudice proceedings at the meeting.

The circumstances in which termination or suspension might occur could include:

  • public disturbance or suspension of the meeting
  • the meeting agreeing to formally exclude the press and public from the meeting, because of the confidential nature of the business to be discussed
  • where it is considered that continued recording / photography / filming / webcasting might infringe the rights of any individual/s
  • where it is considered necessary for the protection of children, the vulnerable or other members of the public, who actively object to being filmed
  • when the Chair considers that a defamatory statement has been made

In allowing this, the Fire Authority asks those recording proceedings not to edit the film / recording / photographs in a way that could lead to misinterpretation of the proceedings, or infringe the core values of the Fire Authority.  This includes refraining from editing an image or views expressed in a way that may ridicule, or show a lack of respect towards those being photographed / filmed / recorded.

Those intending to bring large equipment, or wishing to discuss any special requirements are advised to contact the Fire and Rescue Service on 01743 260225 in advance of the meeting to seek advice and guidance.  Please note that such requests will be subject to practical considerations and the constraints of specific meeting rooms.

The use of flash photography or additional lighting will not be allowed unless this has been discussed in advance of the meeting and agreement reached on how it can be done without disrupting proceedings.

At the beginning of each meeting, the Chair will make an announcement that the meeting may be filmed, recorded or photographed.  Meeting agendas will also carry this message.