NALC urges the government to make remote meetings permanent
The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) has again urged the government to make remote meetings a permanent option for local (parish and town) councils.
The move follows a call from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) for views from local government and other bodies on the issue.
NALC entered into extensive dialogue across local government and with rural stakeholders. The outcome was the unanimous agreement with NALC that local councils should be permanently allowed the option of holding remote meetings at a time of their choosing (as should the rest of local government). An argument that NALC has put to the government in its consultation response.
NALC recognises that in the future, a hybrid approach to local council meetings may be inevitable.
However, given the recent delay in lifting some lockdown restrictions and uncertainty over the safety of holding local council meetings physically, the government should give local councils the legal option of holding remote meetings if they want to – in the interests of health, safety and society.
Hertfordshire County Council, the Association of Democratic Service Officers (ADSO), and Lawyers in Local Government (LLG) bought a high court case on remote meetings in April 2021. It was unsuccessful.