People will soon be able to tune into Bolton Council meetings from the comfort of their own homes thanks to new web-streaming equipment.

Meetings of the full council and planning meetings will be broadcast live on the internet, to make local democracy more accessible for residents.

Cameras and microphones have been installed in the council chamber, as part of the Albert Halls refurbishment.

On Wednesday, February 22, the council will broadcast its annual budget meeting.

Full council and planning meetings will be live-streamed at first, with plans to broadcast other meetings in the future.

Councillors will be provided with new smart microphones, which are connected to cameras which will zoom in on the councillor, displaying their name and the position they hold when they speak.

Councillors will also be able to use these devices to vote.

Councillor Cliff Morris, Leader of Bolton Council, said: “As part of the work to refurbish the Albert Halls, we took the opportunity to bring the council chamber into the 21st century, with the installation of a live streaming system.

Previously, we were only able to broadcast meetings to other venues within the town centre, such as the library lecture theatre, but we will no longer need to do this.

People will now be able to view meetings from their home, workplace or even on the go.

“They will be able to watch live as issues are debated, motions are voted on and planning applications are decided.”

To watch webcasts, visit https://bolton.public-i.tv/core/portal/home.

Members of the public are very welcome to come to the council chamber to watch any meetings which are held there.

Entrance to the council chamber is from the south entrance which is opposite the Bolton News offices in the Wellsprings.

Seats in the public gallery of the council chamber are limited and at the meeting on 22 February tickets will be allocated on a first come first served basis. The meeting will not be broadcast in any other town centre buildings.

Bolton Council’s budget meeting will be streamed from 7pm tonight.

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