05:58PM, Tuesday 11 May 2021
York House, Windsor
The Windsor and Maidenhead council has said that 'decision making' meetings will be held socially-distanced in Windsor up to Monday, June 21 as rules on virtual meetings change.
For the duration of the pandemic, the council has livestreamed its meetings on its YouTube channel as legislation was passed to allow local authorities to meet remotely.
However the Government says that regulations which have allowed councils to meet like this do not apply to meetings after May 6, which was last week.
A High Court ruling earlier this month called for local councils to revert back to face-to-face meetings after this date.
When asked how meetings would be run while rules on social contact stay in place, a Windsor and Maidenhead council spokesman said that decision making meetings will be held in-person in Windsor.
“Any face-to-face meetings will be held in line with restrictions and public health advice in place at the time," he said.
"From Monday, May 17 a much greater range of indoor activity can resume in line with the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown.
“Decision making meetings will be held face-to-face, socially-distanced at York House in Windsor up to Monday, June 21 when it is hoped all social distancing requirements will end. Numbers will be limited to meet the requirements.
“These meetings will include cabinet, the Royal Borough Development Management Panel and the Audit and Governance Committee.
“Other meetings that are not decision making will continue virtually."
The council added that it will look at an 'external venue' if some meetings generated more interest than others, but it said that it does not have the 'audio-visual capability' to broadcast meetings that are in person - although it said it would be looking at 'solutions' to this.
“We have been pleased with how well virtual meetings have been received by the public, and with attendances, adding to a greater understanding of council business and showing democracy in action," the Royal Borough added.
“Where a meeting is necessary the council has conducted a risk assessment to ensure it can take place safely.
“Where there is significant public interest in particular meetings, we are looking at an external venue to enable interested parties to attend.
“Unfortunately, we do not have the audio-visual capability to broadcast meetings that are in person but are looking at solutions."
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