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Pilot Webcasting Scheme for Highland

6th August 2009

The public will soon be able to follow debates on important Highland planning and licensing issues from the comfort of their own homes.

In a pilot scheme starting soon, meetings held in the Council Chamber at Inverness of the strategic Planning Environment and Development Committee as well as Inverness Nairn Badenoch and Strathspey Planning Applications Committee and Inverness Nairn Badenoch and Strathspey Licensing Committee will be broadcast live via webcasting on the Council's web site: www.highland.gov.uk.

The first meeting to be broadcast live will be the Inverness Nairn Badenoch and Strathspey (INBS) Planning Application Committee on Tuesday 8 September. The first broadcast of the INBS Licensing Committee is on 15 September and the first broadcast of the PED Committee will be 23 September.

As well as watching debates live, the public will have the chance to catch up on debates at a later time by viewing archived material. It is intended that the meeting of the Planning Environment and Development Committee on Wednesday 12 August will be available for viewing as an archive.

The Council has awarded a contract to Public-i, which allows for 15 hours of broadcast each month over the trial period, which runs until June 2010, when the service will be reviewed.

Convener Sandy Park said: "The Council is committed to making decision-making more accessible. In a remote area like the Highlands, webcasting has a role to play in opening up our debates to the public. We will be piloting webcasting at our Inverness headquarters with planning and licensing meetings but will look to expand this service to other committees and other locations if the public value the service."

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