The government has issued the regulations required for English local authorities to hold public meetings virtually, by phone or video link, during the coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown.
The government has issued the regulations required for English local authorities to hold public meetings virtually, by phone or video link, during the coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown. The regulations follow the Coronavirus Act 2020, which received royal assent on 25 March. It makes provisions for “persons to attend, speak at, vote in, or otherwise participate in, local authority meetings without all of the persons, or without any of the persons, being together in the same place”.
Housing secretary Robert Jenrick said the change will support local authorities to keep people safe while maintaining the transparency expected in local decision-making.
“Councillors and staff are already doing the right thing by following our advice to stay home, protect the NHS and save lives. This includes working from home wherever possible, and the new powers to hold meetings virtually will make that easier.
“It’s critical that they continue to provide essential services and find innovative ways to maintain important economic functions they perform like the planning system and they will now be able to do so.
“We’ve given local authorities across England an additional £1.6 billion to help their crucial work in the national effort against coronavirus, and we are continuing to ensure they get all of the support that they need at this time.”
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