Government confirms NO extension to remote meetings

26/03/2021

The Government has announced that local councils will not be able to hold 'virtual' meetings online after Friday 7 May 2021, although the government guidance to work from home where possible remains in place for a further two weeks at least

The Local Government sector has responded with concern to the decision.  The Local Government Association's chair James Jamieson, whose statement is "strongly supported" by the County Councils Network, described the decision as "extremely disappointing". Cllr Jamieson pointed out that "MPs will retain the right to participate remotely until at least June 21, but the powers that be in the House of Commons will not make time available to legislate for councillors to do the same".

Other council officers and councillors across the political spectrum said they were "speechless", "absolutely staggered," and that the situation was "a farce" and "ridiculous".

Several raised concerns about the impact on local democracy because councillors, council officers and members of the public who continue to self-isolate or may be vulnerable will be barred from attending meetings.

The links below are to the relevant article on the Local Government Chronicle website, and a press release from the National Association for Local Councils.

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