Meeting in the time of coronavirus

Almost every council holds a meeting of all councillors in May, following the local elections.

Because the Government didn’t legislate to allow the continuation of online and hybrid meetings, many of them will have looked like this one held by Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council at the Bournemouth International Centre, at an extra cost of more than £6,000 to comply with current covid restrictions. 

A High Court judgment in April confirmed that primary legislation is needed to give councils similar powers to those granted temporarily by the Coronavirus Act 2020 to meet virtually. 

The LGA continues to press for councils to be able to hold meetings online. This flexibility has been paramount in allowing access for both councillors and the public to council meetings, and councils want to be able to continue their business in this way, especially in times of emergency..

Photo credit: Georgia Turner/ BCP Council

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