As per this comment on the WFA
Fran: The real joke is that a Junior Minister (Bob Neil) has written to Councils asking US to consider "opening up" to Social Media BUT Parliament itself FORBIDS it!
What's sauce for the goose etc.!
FlipC: Good point Fran. I've emailed Mr Pickles regarding this apparent hypocrisy and will forward any relevant reply I receive here.
I sent the following email on the 4th March
Dear Mr Pickles,
It was with some delight that I read about both yours and Mr Neill's stance regarding the filming of local council meetings. This is a great boon to bringing council decisions and ponderings to the people they are supposed to represent and is something that should have been done a long time ago. I was however interested in whether you were planning on extending this move towards rescinding the current ban on 'amateur' photography within Parliament itself beyond the boundaries of Westminster Hall.
Although proceedings are obviously filmed by the BBC it would seem hypocritical to instruct local councils that they should allow members of the public to capture imagery while retaining your own exclusion.
I await your reply with interest and in the meantime remain.
I now have a response 6th April [sigh] as a Word document
Access to council meetings
Thank you for your email of 4 March to the Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government, sent in reply to Bob Neill’s letter of 23 February to local authorities encouraging them to allow greater access to council meetings for citizen and other journalists. You asked whether such openness should apply to Parliament.
Thank you for your support for the messages expressed in Mr Neill’s letter. Transparency and openness should be the underlying principle behind everything councils do and modern communication methods can clearly contribute to this.
This Department's remit does not extend to the Houses of Parliament. Proceedings of Parliament are, however, currently filmed and aired on a free to access Parliament TV channel and via the Parliament website.