Telegraph View: How much detail do we want?

Star editor Nancy Fielder is campaigning for Pride in Sheffield.
Star editor Nancy Fielder is campaigning for Pride in Sheffield.

A lot of decisions which have implications for all of us are taken during meetings within the town hall.

But how much information do most people actually want about these discussions?

There is a lot that goes on which isn’t of burning interest, but then there are also minutes of absolute brilliance and decisions which more people should take more interest in.

In many cases, the majority are happy to know the outcome and, if truth be told, aren’t even really bothered about that.

They’ll use it as an excuse to moan when something causes an inconvenience for them but they wouldn’t bother to get involved, campaign or vote.

At the other extreme there are others who seem to dedicate their lives to getting answers to questions that most don’t even know could be posed.

Today’s Sheffield Voices examines whether it is time for all council debates to be live streamed. That would mean nobody would ever miss a minute of crucial discussion - or would it?

I have sat through many a council meeting and been in danger of nodding off at times.

There is a lot that goes on which isn’t of burning interest to most people, but then there are also minutes of absolute brilliance and decisions which more people should take more interest in.

This week’s discussion also makes it clear that making these meetings available digitally would allow residents to witness discussions for themselves.

It removes the mystery, it gives answers without endless emails and it would allow individuals to hold their local authority to account in a different way.

Our journalists attend many council meetings and it is an absolutely vital part of what we do. We are experts at finding the essence of a story rather than getting lost in debate.

Yet we can’t, for example, cover every planning decision, nor would you want us to.

So even if we accept that many would only both watching a meeting once or twice in a lifetime and most probably never would, that passionate minority should be good enough reason. The more we can engage this city is decisions, the better our council and city will be.