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Bloody Bureaucracy!

Hot_Fuzz 17 121
5 Mar 2006 4:32AM
I recently payed a visit to my local Town Hall to take some photos. I had wanted to take some pics of Stain Glassed windows featuring the Towns Crest, The Original Spinning Jenny Mural and some of the Towns regalia which are situated as soon as you walk in to the town hall.

Instead of just taking pictures I walked up to the reception area and asked for permission after a lengthy phone call with "THE TOWN HALL MANAGER" in wigan of all places I was told that I would have to write a letter to Wigan??? asking for permission!.

As far as I'm concerned these objects are part of the History of Leigh and as such belong to the people of Leigh. Why the HELL should I be writting for permission to some Jobsworthy in Wigan????, I could understand if the photos I wanted to take where located in locked off areas but this was in the main public corridor of the town hall.

Any ways does any one know where I would stand if I walked in and took a photo? because the Idea of writting to a Wiganer asking him if I can take photos of LEIGH's History is insulting.
laura16 18 606
5 Mar 2006 5:32AM
This type of thing makes you wonder if it's worth asking permission at all! A few years ago I took photos inside our Town Hall without asking and nobody challenged me. However at a school event I had heard that cameras were now not allowed, nothing official, just rumours. So I asked if I would be able to take a couple of photos of my own son receiving certificates and was told no. Fair enough. But what annoyed me was that during the prizegiving several other parents were taking photos and nobody told them to stop!
macroman 18 15.3k England
5 Mar 2006 9:47AM
What bugs me, is whem you are told that it is 'Council Property' when in reality it belongs to to us all.

If it really is 'Council Property' then the 'Council' members' should pay for it's upkeep and not tax us to the hilt to maintain it.

Some years ago I asked if I could take some photos of the workings of a public clock that was in a building about to be demolished (the clock was actually saved from demolition and used in the rebuild)the person I spoke to said that he could not give me permission to photograph 'COUNCIL PROPERTY' and that I would have to write to some faceless wonder in some department or other. He was not impressed when I pointed out that it was public property.

I didn't need all the hassle at the time so I gave it a miss. Perhaps I should have crept in on a Sunday and taken the pix anyway.

I'm not advocating that we have the right to go anywhere at any time and take pix willy-nilly, but taking pix of your town hall should not create a problem.

I wonder if I could get into GCHQ and take few surreptitious shots without being spotted ;o)
Sus 17 3.2k 9 England
5 Mar 2006 10:14AM
Daft (behaviour on the part of the town hall staff). Hopefully the manager in Wigan will be more sensible if you give her a call.
SuziBlue 19 16.2k 10 Scotland
5 Mar 2006 10:18AM
Too many Jobsworths around these days. Give them a sniff of power (e.g. a hat or a sticker on their door) and they go ape.

sigh ...
macroman 18 15.3k England
5 Mar 2006 10:24AM
Nowaday's if there were no notice specifically forbidding it, I would probably take the pic and plead ignorance.

They can't shoot you for it, YET!

Can they ?????

But then, I'm a doddery old pensioner, so I'd probably get away with it, Plead deafness, rheumatics, senility etc!!

Carabosse 18 41.8k 270 England
5 Mar 2006 10:25AM
Take pics first, then if challenged play the innocent! Wink

90%+ of the time you won't even be challenged, so long as you are fairly discreet, i.e. don't use flash or set up your tripod!
Sus 17 3.2k 9 England
5 Mar 2006 10:26AM
There was someone on here a while ago who objected to the term jobsworth - though I think it rather depends on how you define it. However it does appear to point to the death of common sense. Perhaps with local government bodies though this should not surprise us unduly. Give them the benefit of the doubt though Dave. If you get the same daftness further up, then at least it's an interesting story for the local rag?
elowes 17 2.8k United Kingdom
5 Mar 2006 10:30AM
This subject keeps coming up and in all honesty I cannot see what you seem to be getting your knickers in a twist about. Walk back in, take some pics and walk out.

If you want to set up and take photographs then getting permission is not only polite but essential as you will be causing some disruption, if only a minimal amount.

Complain to your council if you feel strongly about it.
macroman 18 15.3k England
5 Mar 2006 10:43AM
Asking permision can be the best approach sometimes.

When I was doing a C&G course on Architectural Photography I wanted to take some pix of constructional details of an old property that was being demolished.

I'd tried using a zoom lens from the pavement without a lot of success, so I asked the site foreman if I could wander about and take some closer shots. To my surprise he said I could go where I liked, but to watch out for falling timber/brickwork etc.

Though with today's HS&E rules I probably wouldn't get the chance now.
lobsterboy Plus
17 15.0k 13 United Kingdom
5 Mar 2006 10:54AM
Generally in life & work I find it is always a mistake to ask permssion first. To get aproval to do something you need half a dozen people to say yes & but if one of them says no you are stuffed.

Generally it is best to do something and then say this is what I have done - is that OK?
loweskid 20 2.0k 1 United Kingdom
5 Mar 2006 11:35AM
I had no problems taking pictures in Manchester town hall - they issue a permit there and then at the reception desk and you just have to sign a bit of paper to say you are not going to use the pics for commercial purposes. I'm not sure about tripods - didn't have one with me at the time so didn't ask.

On another occasion I was taking photos of the fountains in Piccadilly Gardens and a council worker came over and offered to turn them fully on for me. So they are not all 'jobsworths'.
Mark_Readman 16 922
5 Mar 2006 12:40PM
What the bl**dy hell does it have to do with staff at manchester town hall how you use the images, someone should remind these folk who owns these buildings and who pays the wages. grrrrrrrrrrrrr
Hot_Fuzz 17 121
5 Mar 2006 12:45PM
I'll probably just walk in and take the pics!, the photo I want is more or less in view as soon as you walk in, I could be in and out before anyone can do anything, I just thought I'd do the right thing and ask first!, next time I'll act ignorant. Interesting point made by macroman about Town Halls being Public because their upkeep is payed for out of Tax payers money! I may use that one in the future.

mack 17 290 United Kingdom
6 Mar 2006 4:50AM
Go in and take the pictures, if some town hall employee tells you it is not permitted and there are no notices posted to that effect, then ask to see the ruling that actually states that. After all you pay for the upkeep of the place and the wages of the staff employed there, technically you own it.
While he/she has gone to find out, take some more and go.

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