When considering how to record your parish council meeting it will come as no surprise to you that there are several variables to consider. Decisions need to be made that take account of the technology used, the desired quality of image and audio, the size of the room, the auditory qualities of the space, if there is a hearing loop or existing equipment that can be used, the likely length of the meeting and of course budgetary constraints.
Regardless of how the recording is performed it would be good to understand why the recordings are required. We have successfully captured footage of parish meetings with nothing more than a decent iPhone, mounted on a tripod, with a professional quality microphone attached. The resulting video is simply trimmed with a suitable video editor and uploaded either to the parish council website or a service such as Vimeo or YouTube.
Even with this basic setup the reported benefits are:
- The clerk is able to review who said what, to verify the notes he or she has taken are accurate.
- Councillors seem to take more care of what they say and how they say it.
- Parishioners who cannot make the meeting can review the meeting at a later date.
The only disadvantage with this budget approach is that audio can be hard to hear when more than one person is speaking, or there is background noise. For some councils this may not be a concern, for others it will be.
If you are not recording meetings at the moment, our advice would be to do a one-off video of your next meeting using this budget approach. You can either do this yourself or if you are in the local are we can do you a one-off video for a nominal charge of £149 + VAT for a visit of up to three hours that will include:
- Attendance at the meeting to setup the equipment in a suitable position, agreed with the Clerk.
- On site recording of the meeting from this fixed point.
- Trimming the video and uploading to a service of your choice such as YouTube, typically by close of business on the next working day.
If you are satisfied with the output we can give you some advice and training so you can undertake this work yourself for future meetings, subject to having the correct equipment.
To see sample videos using this method, please check out https://www.youtube.com/@lyngparishcouncilmeetings4558/videos Note the later videos I have taken include a professional quality microphone, which has helped a small amount.
If after taking this approach the audio quality is not suitable, then you are going to have to look at equipment that might include corded or cordless microphones for Councillors, a wireless microphone for members of the public, and probably a small mixing desk. This would improve audio considerably but this audio would have to be captured separately and mixed with the video and so will attract some costs for video processing each time the video is taken.
It’s not possible to give you a price for the hardware without more detail about your specific setup, so this would be quoted on a case by case basis and only then after you take up our ‘budget’ option at least once.