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Democracy and meetings

Last Updated 9:00am, 6 August 2020


Introduction

Information about coronavirus is available in different formats and languages, including easy read, BSL and for people who are not online.

New guidance for Council meetings

The Council in April, received guidance in the form of the Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations which permits remote attendance in Local Authority meetings.

Remote attendance is now allowed as long as certain conditions are satisfied. These include that the members in attendance are able to hear and be heard by the other members in attendance. Also, being able to hear and be heard by any members of the public entitled to attend the meeting (in line with the public participation scheme).

A visual solution is preferred, but audio is sufficient.

This also relates to members of the public attending the meeting also being heard.

Devon County Council meetings

In view of this new guidance, a number of key meetings (Cabinet, scrutiny and a number of regulatory bodies) will be going ahead remotely using Microsoft Teams.

Members of the press and public are welcome to view any public committee meetings and the details of the live stream will be shown on the agenda page of the relevant meeting. Any queries can be directed to the clerk of that meeting or email committee@devon.gov.uk. If a member of the public wishes to participate in the meeting in line with the public participation scheme, then they are asked to contact the clerk of that meeting or email committee@devon.gov.uk where they will be sent details of the meeting so they can join the meeting and be heard and seen when they speak.

A new meetings protocol has been produced to show how meetings will run under these new regulations.

The Annual Meeting of the Council took place remotely on the 23 July and you can see the proceedings on the Council meeting webcast.

Future meetings will continue to take place remotely, but future working practices will of course be reflective of advice at the time and in line with any safety and / or social distancing requirements.

Looking forward to September and beyond, we anticipate that all committee meetings will go ahead, only not doing so if there is no key business to be determined.

The Scrutiny work programme had been put on hold for a short while as the authority prioritised the COVID-19 pandemic, but this is due to be resumed shortly.

The calendar of meetings on the Democracy website will be kept fully up to date.

If there are any questions or queries please email committee@devon.gov.uk.


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