THE FIRST Torfaen council meeting to be screened on the web has provide to be a success with over 700 people tuning in.

Torfaen’s cabinet meeting held yesterday was the first meeting to be broadcast live.

Figures yesterday revealed that 537 chose to watch the broadcast live and 225 people watched it later in the day.

The leader of Torfaen Council, Cllr Bob Wellington, said: “It is increasingly important that people are well informed and engaged in local democracy and the decisions that we going to have to take.

“We’ve already seen how effective and influential social media can be in helping the council reach new audiences and expect that webcasting will take this online engagement further, helping us to reach more people and encourage them to get involved and have their say on the decisions that affect them.”

The equipment for the live broadcast was put in place in August, after 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.

Torfaen completed a deal with Public-I, and the equipment was tested on September 24, when staff filmed the full council meeting, which was reviewed internally to identify any problems.

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

Residents are able to watch live meetings and can log in and watch recorded meetings at a time to suit them.

The scheme will cost £12,000 a year to operated, which has been funded by the Welsh Government for the first two years.