Campaigning to retain remote meetings

Your District Council has expressed concern that its ability to hold remote meetings of the council and its committees ends soon.

Government regulations allowing councils to meet remotely during the coronavirus pandemic end on 7 May.

In the past year we have has used the Zoom platform to maintain the democratic process, broadcasting all meetings live via Zoom onto our YouTube channel.

At what could be our last "virtual" meeting last night (Thursday 22 April) the full council approved that authority be delegated to officers - the chief executive and directors - to take decisions reserved to the council and committees until meetings can safely resume in person at Matlock Town Hall.

Committee chairs, vice-chairs, political group leaders and, where appropriate, ward members, will be consulted before decisions are made.

In the meantime we are supporting legal action to preserve the right of local authorities and town councils to continue to make decisions via virtual meetings.

Thursday's council meeting agreed to donate £300 towards High Court action by Lawyers in Local Government (LLG) and the Association of Democratic Services Officers (ADSO).

A decision is awaited on a High Court hearing on 21 April where it was argued that the ability to deliver democracy and make decisions in remote meetings during the coronavirus crisis should be maintained.

The hearing was told that the purpose of the campaign was to ensure that councils can operate in the same modern, contemporary way as other organisations in the 21st century.

The debate at Thursday’s council meeting can be viewed again below:

Your District Council has expressed concern that its ability to hold remote meetings of the council and its committees ends soon.

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