Can a Councillor ' be present' and 'join' a meeting via phone or Skype link?

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asked by (1.2k points)

3 Answers

0 votes
No.  I believe they have to be physically present for them to be considered in attendance.
answered by (5.9k points)
0 votes
As a Councillor I am "Summoned" to a Council meeting (in person). If I cannot do that then I make an apology for not being present which may or may not be rejected.
answered by (2.5k points)
0 votes
I am looking into this myself. I think they need to be present. But I can't find anything in the Local Government Act 1972 to say they can't  use Skype. However decisions are made by a show of hands and the meeting needs to be quorate so this might make it impossible anyway. There maybe something in the Standing Orders that stipulates you have to be present and as someone else has said you are summonsed  to parish council meetings. Personally I think it is not conducive to a good team ethic. If you can't be present at meetings or are afraid to speak up at meetings you should not go on the council. Did you get anywhere yourself finding out? Forums are only OK up to a point.
answered by (220 points)
I wouldn't have thought a court would hold that LGA 1972 could have applied to Skype. Obviously, it did not exist in 1972, but phones certainly did, and I don't think any court would read the Act as permitting attendance by phone.
Some councils are allowing the use of Skype for councillors to interact with meetings  while away but not to vote. If councillors can't make meetings on a regular basis they shouldn't be councillors.

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