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After the summer holiday Horsens Municipality introduces live coverage of the city council's monthly meetings. It is good for the democracy, believe the mayor and deputy mayor.
Horsens: After the summer holidays the residents of Horsens will have the opportunity to watch the city council's meetings in the city hall live at home from the sofa.
Two or three cameras, which will stream the debate live on the municipality's website, will be placed in the city council room. Subsequently, the meeting will be archived so people can see it whenever they want.
The decision to stream live from the city council meeting is a part of the budget agreement that was concluded last autumn, and at the city council meeting on Monday evening the politicians set the date of the first broadcast, namely the city council's meeting on 22nd August.
It is one of the digital opportunities we have now taken to us. It is a part of the process of involving and informing the citizens, says mayor Peter Sørensen (S) who does not dare to indicate how many Horsens' citizens will take advantage of the opportunity to attend city council meetings digitally.
I simply do not know, but I'm glad that we now give the citizens better opportunities to see democracy in work, he says.
Do you think it have an impact on the debate in the city council as it will be sent live?
We have asked colleagues in other city councils that have live coverage, and they say it's not unusual that the first few city council meetings have a spillover effect, where people experience a little longer speaking time. There may also be city council members who feel that they go a little outside of their comfort zone, but the experience also shows that after the first meetings things normalize. Then it will be just as it has always been, says Peter Sørensen.
It was the Liberals who during the budget negotiations proposed live city council meetings, and deputy mayor and group chairman Martin Ravn look forward for it to become a reality.
There are usually not many listeners on such a Tuesday at 17 o'clock and now we give the citizens a chance to follow the debate at home from the living room. Normally it is stated only in the summary of the city council's meeting whether a case is passed or rejected. Now people will get the opportunity to get the nuances as well and come back to them if they cannot follow the meeting live. It is a clear strengthening of democracy, he says.
Written by: Thomas Schütt