Wirral Council leader Phil Davies has ordered a legal review of Government moves to allow people to video council meetings in England.

New guidance explicitly states councils should allow citizens to blog, tweet and film local authority meetings.

Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles said: “Modern technology has created a new cadre of bloggers and hyper-local journalists and councils should open their digital doors and not cling to analogue interpretations of council rules.

“Councillors shouldn’t be shy about the public seeing the good work they do in championing local communities and local interests.”

Councillor Davies said: “I have no problem with people filming, but I know some of my members are concerned – not necessarily with the filming – but with how the footage would be used.

“They want to know what rights the people filming have in terms of how the footage is used following meetings.

“We have asked our legal people to go back and advise on the policy we should set up about filming. In the meantime we have left it to the chair of each meeting to decide if they are prepared to allow filming to take place.”

He added: “We need clarity so the public know what the rules are and so members of the committees know what their rights are.”

But Liberal Democrat councillor Stuart Kelly said the Government decision was “a victory for openness and transparency.”

He commented: “This should now clarify the situation on Wirral where too many times Labour councillors have voted to ban people filming committee deliberations and publishing on the web.”