Virtual meetingsView virtual meetings
Why are you holding virtual meetings?
In April 2020, Government legislation changed to allow Local Authorities to hold virtual meetings.
Section 78 of the Coronavirus Act 2020 introduced a provision for local authorities to carry on having all meetings. Some are regulatory meetings such as Planning and Licensing.
How will these meetings work?
These meetings will be held via Microsoft Teams.
Councillors will continue to Chair the meetings and make the decisions in relation to the agenda item but because these are 'virtual' meetings the Council are heavily reliant on Information Technology and those officers that facilitate the meeting. It is possible given the work that needs to be undertaken to facilitate the meetings that agendas may be shorter and meetings more frequent.
The public and press should be able to watch and hear the meetings in 'real time'. The livestreams may have a delay of a few seconds.
To help those officers involved in producing the meeting we need to consider the part that we all play.
Speaking during the meeting
Please speak clearly and slowly. You will be advised as to when it is your turn to speak. Planning and Licensing meetings have their own procedure. A copy of that will be attached to the agenda pack.
Whilst the Chair will ask participants directly when it is their turn to speak when the Chair asks councillors if they have any questions, councillors need to say their name and the Chair can then state out loud the names of those that want to speak or state that there are no questions. Alternatively, councillors can indicate that they want to speak by clicking on the 'show hand' icon on Microsoft Teams.
Some participants will be able to be seen visually and some will only be heard. Everyone should know this information and the order of procedure before the meeting commences. Participants will be asked to stay with their microphone on mute until it is their turn to speak to assist the clarity of audio.
Information that anyone needs to ask may have to be undertaken through 'chat'. Only on urgent occasions should the main producer be asked to disturb the order of speakers so that another participant can speak first and interrupt the pre-arranged order of speakers eg: legal advisor.
Some participants will be called in to the meeting and when they have finished their part may remain or they may be asked to leave the meeting and watch as a member of the general public. So, for example, a license holder will be asked to join and may stay whilst a petitioner may be asked to join the public view once their part is finished.
The end of the meeting
At the end of the meeting the Chair will close the meeting. Licensing decisions will be determined after the public meeting and the decision published within given time frames. Planning meetings will announce the decision of each agenda item after each individual agenda item has been discussed. Other meetings will take place as they have always done.
When will you be holding virtual meetings?
The dates of all meetings such as Cabinet, Council, Audit Committee, Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Planning Committee, Environment and Safety and Licensing will take place as and when advised on the Council's website.
Where can I watch virtual meetings?
You will be able to find any live meeting streams on our meeting videos webpage when they are due to happen. Once the meeting has finished, you will then be able to find the recordings of the meetings on the same page.