Remote meetings boost democracy

As lockdown rules continue to ease, our councils remain at the forefront of support for residents and businesses. 

With many of our areas looking towards further easing in May and increasing tourist numbers, it is imperative that we encourage residents to remain safe, despite the numbers vaccinated.

It is therefore extremely disappointing that the Government, when considering coronavirus legislation, decided not to extend remote meetings for our members. 

“A premature return to in-person meetings would be a disappointing step backwards for local democracy

We hope the legal challenge against this decision, due as first was going to press, is successful – as a premature return to in-person meetings would be a disappointing step backwards in terms of local democracy. 

The Government has launched a call for evidence as to whether remote meetings should be a thing of the future in England (they are already allowed in Wales), but this is too little, too late, considering we have been making the efficiency, environmental and safety arguments for remote and hybrid meetings for months. 

We hope ministers take the opportunity to reverse their current position before 7 May.

While members across the country busily continue to prepare for the elections in May, many took a break from campaigning in a mark of respect for the Duke of Edinburgh. 

Councils have been supporting communities to express their condolences following the death of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, on 9 April. He lived a life of public service and our deepest sympathies are with the Queen and the Royal Family at this time.

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