PARISH council meetings are a necessary part of ensuring our democracy runs smoothly, but they're generally pretty dull affairs.

Which is why one councillor went to great lengths to try to brighten up his intervention at Bishop's Hull Parish Council.

Cllr John Hunt, who represents the village and surrounding area on Somerset County Council, prepared his regular report to the latest parish meeting with what he believes is a UK first.

Somerset County Gazette:

Instead of reading out his lengthy report on recent goings on in the parish, Mr Hunt, after checking with the powers that be, came up with the idea of recording a 19-minute video account.

He said: "I thought it would be an excellent idea to try something a little different.

"Personally I find it hard work reading through long reports and would love to receive council papers etc in a format that makes it easier for me to digest. Hence this, my first video report to the parish council.

"I’d much rather listen or watch an item than read about it.

"It does mean I can actually say what I mean and hopefully get my points across a lot better than I could ever do using the written word.

"Naturally I sought the permission of the chairman and parish clerk prior to making the video."

Before pressing the record button, Mr Hunt drew a blank when he searched the internet for other video report from councillors in other parts of the country for ideas on how to address the camera about matters such as parking, snow, policing and overgrown vegetation.

He said: "I did search for other councillor video reports to parish councils across the UK so that I could get a guide as to content, video length, etc and to my great surprise I found nothing anywhere.

"So this could actually have been a historic moment - the first video report from a county or even borough councillor to a UK parish council."

Bishop's Hull Parish Council chairman Cllr Mike Leach welcomed Mr Hunt's innovative approach.

"It saves you sitting there reading a lot of paperwork," said Mr Leach.

"It was a different way of delivering some business which could be quite dry. It stops people overlooking the written word and actually paying attention to something in front of them on a screen."