The Only Way is Edinburgh: Live streaming of council meetings is totes on the cards

BORED with The Only Way is Essex? Then tune in to the other TOWIE – The Only Way is Edinburgh, that is.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 14th April 2012, 1:00 pm

It might not be tipped for reality TV success, but the proposed introduction of cameras streaming live footage of council meetings could soon cause a stir in the City Chambers.

Hours of meetings and presentations would be streamed online under new proposals from the Green Party ahead of the May 3 elections.

The premise is somewhat removed from the hit reality show – following the lives of less-than-bright twentysomethings rather than 16-hour tram debates – but already has tongues wagging in the dusty corridors of power.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The Greens argue that it will help get people involved in local government, but the only question on everyone’s lips will be which of the city elders would translate to the perma-tanned wannabes of the original.

Insiders are already tipping the deputy council leader as a double for the fashion- conscious Mark Wright.

One source told the Evening News: “Steve [Cardownie, SNP] doesn’t exactly have the figure but he’s got the clothes horse reputation. We all remember the episode when he snagged his Armani suit on a nail on a desk and initially tried to claim it on expenses.

“Next would be Norma Austin Hart [Labour] – definitely the most glamorous. Not exactly a Sam Faiers but her cousin owns a boutique so she’s always beautifully turned out.”

Another insider was less complementary. They said: “I’m not saying she’s like Lauren Goodger [dumb blonde] or anything, but there’s something about Angela Blacklock’s [Labour] flat Bradford accent.”

They added: “We’d be struggling to match ‘well jel’ – the most irritating phrase in the whole show – but when Gordon Munro [Labour] launches into a sentence it always starts with a nasal “eeeeeehhhhhhhhh”, so he’s not far off Joey Essex.”

The source suggested being on camera might bring out the vanity in elected members.

They said: “The toilets are going to be packed with them touching up their make-up, checking their hair and sticking on the Grecian 2000.”

While Edinburgh is believed to be the first local authority in Scotland to consider introducing online streaming, Holyrood’s coverage has proved popular, with about 7000 viewers per month.

The Greens, who have launched their manifesto, are pushing for the introduction of the cameras following the success of Brighton, the UK’s first Green-controlled city.

The scheme, which cost about £20,000 over three years, is said to be popular and involve the public in the workings of local government.

Councillor Alison Johnstone, also a Green MSP said: “It may not compete with the best of daytime TV, but webcasting is an obvious way to open up the council so that people can get a better idea of what their representatives actually get up.”