In March 2021, the government issued a consultation – a call for evidence – around remote and hybrid meetings. This was to gather information about the experience of local authorities having the power to use remote meetings during the coronavirus pandemic. More than 4,300 responses were submitted including many from the local council sector.
Over the last week, the Association of Democratic Services Officers (ADSO) and Lawyers in Local Government (LLG) have received a response to their Freedom of Information request about the publication of information around this consultation. This request has been denied.
A press release has been issued about this by ADSO and LLG.
Every opportunity is taken to remind the government about the importance of giving town and parish councils the option to hold hybrid/remote meetings. The President of the National Association of Local Councils (NALC), Baroness Scott of Needham Market, has included a proposed amendment to the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, currently being scrutinised by the House of Lords, which would give all councils the power to hold remote meetings.
SLCC continue to work with partners, Local Government Association (LGA), ADSO, NALC and others via the Digital Democracy Partnership to press the government for the option for remote meetings.