LIVE streamed council meetings that have been branded “more Crossroads than Love Island” have failed to attract an audience despite thousands of pounds being invested in the technology.

Councillors were left feeling “mortally insulted” after figures suggested few people were interested in tuning into webcast meetings that are costing almost a quarter of a million to provide.

Wirral Council have spent an eye-watering £225k on filming the the majority of their public meetings so more people engage with decision-making in the borough.

But a report brought before the Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee on Tuesday suggested viewing numbers remain low – much to the embarrassment of some local councillors.

One Labour member on the committee, Cllr Jeanette Williamson, said:” I’m massively insulted that one of the cabinet meetings had nil viewings at the time. I really am mortally insulted by that.”

Meanwhile, meetings that attracted a surprisingly high number of viewers left other councillors bemused.

Conservative Cllr Chris Blakeley said: “I would just like to know who the 144 people were who were watching the Wirral mayor making. That to me is a very strange but quite substantial number.”

The report before the board said that out of 67 meetings for 2018/2019, there were 1842 ‘live’ views during all meetings.

In addition there were 6911 access views to the archive – but the report sates some of these will have been generated by council officers who use it to assist in the preparation of meeting minutes and actions arising as a result of a debate.

A breakdown of the figures shows full council meetings generally attracted the most views, with 319 people tuning into one that saw hundreds turn out to protest against a £200m golf resort in Hoylake.

The second placed figure drops down steadily after, with 138 watching an Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee about controversial plans to ban dogs from 100 locations across the borough.

But while those two meetings generated a fair amount of interest from the public, others have been likened to a “bad episode of Crossroads.”

Leader of Wirral Conservatives Ian Lewis has previously criticised his Labour rivals for wasting money on what he described as a “vanity project.”

He said: “Just as few people read the Wirral View, even less are watching the council meetings and with these kind of viewing figures, it’s not so much Love Island, and more like a bad episode of Crossroads.”

And reiterating that stance today he added: “To spend £250,000 on a system that is being used by so few residents should be causing alarm bells to ring in the Town Hall. At a time when we are told there is no money for providing the basic services, it looks like the concerns of the Conservative Group raised at the time are justified.”

Justifying the service, Wirral Council say it allows residents to engage with key decisions affecting their lives .

As part of that service, residents who can’t attend council meetings in person are able to watch webcasts of them live from home using their smart-phone, tablet or computer, and view them at a time of their own convenience.

Speaking after last night’s meeting Conservative Cllr Tony Cox, who chaired the meeting, admitted it was “difficult” to justify the amount it was costing the cash-strapped authority based on the viewing numbers.

However he said if figures continued to increase it could be justified because it allowed decision making to be more transparent.