South Lanarkshire Council starts to provide subtitles for meetings

South Lanarkshire CouncilSouth Lanarkshire Council
South Lanarkshire Council
South Lanarkshire Council has spent £300 to provide subtitles for a meeting.

Recordings of virtual meetings are due to start being published on the council’s website. however equality legislation requires either a BSL interpretation or subtitles be included.

Head of administration and legal services Geraldine McCann said the council had “negotiated an introductory cost” to provide subtitles for the executive committee meeting held on January 13.

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Since the start of the year, committee clerks have made councillors aware at the start of meetings that recordings will be made available to the public but none had appeared before yesterday’s (Wednesday, February 10) executive committee meeting.

At the start of the meeting, Rutherlgen South councillor Robert Brown asked what the “current state of play” was and added: “How long is it going to be between the meetings of the committee and the thing going up on the website?

“If this is going to be like a month or something it’s almost pointless.”

Executive director for finance, Paul Manning, said there were some teething issues that the contractor had worked through and reassured councillors that future meetings would be uploaded quicker.

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He said: “It has taken so long because this is the first time we are doing this. The film of the meeting had to be sent through and they came back with a subtitled version which had to be checked.

“It is not going to be anything like the length of time to get this initial meeting up and running.”

Only one of the 10 public meetings held in January had been sent to the contractor as officers wanted to ensure the quality of the process before sending the rest.

The finalised version has now been received and it is anticipated that future meetings could be uploaded around one week after they have taken place.

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Cambuslang East councillor Katy Loudon was concerned about the “very convoluted process” and said: “I’m just conscious that we haven’t had any discussion about how much of a cost that’s going to be to the council.”

Ms McCann said: “We negotiated an introductory cost for the first meeting. The cost depends on the length of the meeting.

“The special executive committee was 38 minutes and the introductory cost we negotiated was £300. For meetings that are longer, the costs will increase.”

Next month, South Lanarkshire Council are set to trial live streaming of council meetings starting with the finance and corporate committee on Wednesday, March 17.

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