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Democracy and meetings

Last Updated 4:00pm, 17 November 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 for Committee meetings as long as certain conditions are satisfied. These conditions include that the Members in attendance are able to hear and be heard by 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 by others in attendance.

Devon County Council meetings

In view of this new guidance, all Committee 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 / proceedings can be viewed live from the link displayed on the agenda page for the meeting. Those meetings that were previously webcast will still be recorded and be available to view on the Council meeting webcast pages. Any queries about the meeting can be directed to the clerk of that meeting (their details also being available on the agenda page) 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 meetings protocol has been produced to show how meetings will run under these new regulations. Future meetings will continue to take place remotely until the expiry of those regulations on the 7 May 2021, 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.

We anticipate that all future committee meetings will go ahead, only not doing so if there is no key business to be determined, as is normal practice.

The Scrutiny work programme is now operating as normal, having been paused for a short time during April, May and June.

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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