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Does the Powers to hold public meetings remotely apply to Parish council Planning committee meetings?

0 votes
My Parish Council has advised that its planning committee meeting are not covered by recent govt legislation on remote meetings.
Saying: "The emergency legal reforms forgot to allow PCs to run Committee virtually so it is illegal to hold them on Zoom! We can only hold working party meetings" - which the public have no right to attend. This apparently was advised to the clerk through the Society of Local Council Clerks.
Is this information correct ???
by (120 points)

3 Answers

+2 votes
The temporary legislation covers all meetings. The following paragraph is taken from the NALC guidance note L01-20:

"The Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 (“the 2020 Regulations”) came in to force on 4 April. Broadly speaking, the 2020 Regulations enable local councils and parish meetings to hold remote meetings (including by video and telephone conferencing) for a specified period until May next year. They also remove the requirement to hold an annual meeting. The 2020 Regulations apply to local council meetings, committee, subcommittee meetings and to parish meeting meetings in England."

The public do have a right to attend working party meetings too and even to be a full voting member of a working party.
by (35.5k points)
+1 vote
No it s not correct.  The legislation only says that the Annual meeting of the Council can be postponed, it does not make reference to any other types of Council meeting. As far as the place of Council meetings is concerned it says"(b) any reference to a “place” where a meeting is held, or to be held, includes reference to more than one place including electronic, digital or virtual locations such as internet locations, web addresses or conference call telephone numbers;"
by (25.5k points)
+1 vote
This question is a little obsolete now  if your Parish Council is in England. The Government have just announced on 25th March that legislation allowing remote meetings of Parish Councils will not be extended beyond 7th  May 2021 in England.
by (400 points)

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