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Langford to release audio of council meetings

Council to revisit live streaming during budget deliberations
This public hearing at a regular meeting of council in 2019 drew a crowd of about 100. Langford has decided to make audio of meetings available. (Black Press Media file photo)

The words spoken at council meetings will soon be available to Langford residents and the public at large.

Langford Coun. Lillian Szpak said the decision to make audio of regular meetings of council available addresses concerns about accessibility and transparency.

“We have started hearing that some residents would like to see council meetings streamed live as is the case with most municipalities in the region,” Szpak noted.

She said the decision to provide audio was made after Mayor Stew Young put the matter on the agenda for the Dec. 7 regular meeting of council.

“We will consider live streaming of council meetings during our budget deliberations,” Szpak added. “I hope that council will embrace live streaming when it comes up again.”

ALSO READ: Langford mulling move to mainstream

Grumpy Taxpayer$ of Greater Victoria, a non-profit citizen’s advocacy group, has criticized Langford several times during the past few years for a lack of transparency, including access to meetings.

Although Szpak hasn’t seen a noticeable drop in attendance at council meetings since the start time was changed from 7 to 5:30 p.m. in 2016, she has heard concerns from some residents.

“I’m hearing that the earlier start time makes it challenging for some residents to attend because of work or family commitments,” Szpak said. “I believe council may revisit that once the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.”

ALSO READ: Langford council changing timetable starting in September


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