TORFAEN council’s meetings are to be broadcast live from this autumn, the council has confirmed.

A motion was initially put forward last autumn by Cllr Jessica Powell, with the council eventually voting in favour of the live streaming of their debates.

Since the new year Torfaen has been in discussions with potential providers of the service, and has now completed a deal with Public-I, using funds made available by the Welsh Government.

The webcasting service is intended to open up local democracy to new audiences online and encourage greater engagement in council business and decision making.

Once it is operating, residents will be able to watch live meetings and download relevant documents such as reports, plans or presentations. They can also log in and watch recorded meetings at a time and place to suit them, click on the speakers they want to see such as their local councillors or select the decision or agenda item they are interested in watching, being discussed.

Work will start on installing the new equipment in August, with training following in September before the broadcasts go live from around October. Council leader Bob Wellington said: “Given the financial outlook for public services, it will be increasingly important that people are well informed and engaged in the decisions we are going to have to take.

“We expect that webcasting will take our online engagement further, helping us to reach more and more people and encourage them to get involved and have their say on the decisions that affect them.”