You can now film your local council meetings

Local government secretary Eric Pickles announced today that a new law is going to allow people to film and tweet from local council meetings.

The law will go before parliament, and will give the press and public new rights to film and report council meetings - it'll enshrine in law the right of residents, bloggers and journalists to report, blog, tweet and film council meetings in England.

The move will be part of the Local Audit and Accountability Bill, which will be debated by MPs in the House of Commons on Monday.

The Bill will get rid of residual parts of the Audit Commission, protect local press from taxpayer funding town hall propaganda sheets, and close legal loopholes so that all of the Council Tax bill is fully accountable to local taxpayers.

Last year, Pickles asked councils to open up their committee meetings, although legislative changes only applied to executive meetings.

A recent report from the Tax Payers' Alliance revealed an high number of councils in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire were still limiting the involvement of local residents in the democratic process - even banning the recording of, and blogging and tweeting at, local council meetings.