MEMBERS of the public will now be able to film Bournemouth Council meetings, councillors have agreed.

Residents, bloggers and journalists will be allowed to report, blog, tweet and film meetings, providing this is not done in an intrusive or disruptive way.

The council will also take an audio recording of meetings and broadcast these on its website.

This is to prevent councillors’ comments from being taken out of context and used to suit particular purposes.

It was also agreed that these audio recordings should be checked before being published and left to the Monitoring Officer to decide whether anything needed to be removed for legal reasons.

Cllr Mike Greene, cabinet member for corporate policy and strategy, said: “There’s already an arrangement in place where members of the public are allowed to film or otherwise record cabinet meetings.

“We are recommending to full council that this is extended to other meetings, particularly full council and the statutory bodies of planning and licensing.

“This I’m pleased to do in the interests of encouraging openness in the decision-making process.

“I hope people will support that.

“If we are to allow filming by members of the public, it’s necessary also to ensure members of the council are not being misrepresented or remarks are not being taken out of context.

“The suggestion we’re proposing is that the council should arrange to audio record these same meetings.”

The council intends to spend around £12,000 replacing the existing sound system with a new portable microphone system.

It will also spend around £4,230 to introduce audio recording facilities.