RETURNING TO PHYSICAL MEETINGS – DELIVERING COVID 19 SECURE COUNCIL MEETINGS
All meetings of local councils, their committees, sub committees or any other meeting held under the 1972 Local Government Act Schedule 12 10 must be held as a physical, face to face meeting from May 7th, 2021. The recent High Court ruling means that the facility to meet and make decisions using virtual meeting arrangements is no longer lawful.
The Leigh Parish Council is following the advice and guidance of GAPTC. This organisation has been working with the other six County Associations in the South West Region and have developed common guidance and information for local councils holding face to face meetings returns.
It will be a nervous time for many until the vaccination programme has been completed and confidence is restored.
· Members of the public must be able to attend any physical meeting. A secondary judgement has confirmed that the limiting the public to virtual access is unlawful; they must be able to attend in person
· Councils can continue to live stream/broadcast/record their meetings, but this cannot be instead of giving physical access to the meeting.
· Council meetings are defined as work for councillors, clerk and should be organised in accordance with Government guidance and the Covid 19 principles of hands, face, space and fresh air.
· Virtual formats may be used for business meetings of members and consultation with the clerk.
· Only decisions taken by the council at a face to face meeting, or under the Scheme of Delegation will be lawful.
· Councillors who insist on retaining the use of virtual council meetings may be at risk of a complaint under the code of conduct for bring the council into disrepute.