Eastleigh Borough Council is working towards being able to hold committee meetings online following changes to current legislation.
New regulations have now come into force enabling local authorities to hold ‘virtual’ meetings during the COVID-19 crisis as a way of complying with social distancing requirements.
Changes to the law means, that for a temporary period, the Council can comply with rules requiring public and press access to its meetings and associated documents through remote means and website access. Existing legislation had meant that meetings must be in person and required attendance of all members at a place together. The changes also relax some requirements for local authority meetings to take place during this time.
Council Leader Keith House said, “Holding ‘virtual’ meetings means Council business can continue whilst ensuring the health and safety of councillors, our staff and the public in line with official public health guidance. Using digital technology provides greater flexibility for the Council to continue to take decisions about important local issues.”
Remote meetings can include telephone conferencing, video conferencing and live webcast, and the Council is currently deciding what arrangement would be most appropriate for its councillors and residents. The Council is working towards trialling some meetings later in April using Microsoft Teams live events, ready for some key meetings in May.