Council launches online meetings during Coronavirus crisis
1 May 2020Key Council meetings have moved online to make sure local democracy continues during the COVID-19 crisis.
Cheshire West and Chester Council will hold a number of virtual meetings in the next month, starting with Planning Committee on 5 May.
Councillor Louise Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “It is vital that we keep democratic decision-making open and transparent at a time when many people involved in our meetings are now working remotely, self-isolating or shielding.
“We’re really excited about this approach to maintaining local democracy at this difficult time, including Planning, Licensing, Appeals and Cabinet. We will ensure that Councillors and the public are able to continue to hold us to account for the decisions we make.”
New regulations within the Coronavirus Act 2020 enable the Council to hold virtual meetings and allow access to the public and press.
A set of procedures have been drawn up to help make sure the meetings mimic the experience of a traditional meeting as much as possible, including public speaking, contributions from councillors, public attendance as observers, and more specific participation in appeal hearings.
The Council plans to use Microsoft Teams to host the meetings, which allows for video conferencing with a large number of internal and external users. It is fully secure and also offers subtitling and a recording of the meeting for publication as a record of the event.
The first virtual meeting will be Planning Committee at 4pm on 5 May, followed by Cabinet at 10am on 13 May, General Licensing Sub-committee at 10.30am on 19 May and a second Planning Committee meeting on 28 May.
Information on how to join the meeting is published on each agenda. You can find all committee meetings on the Council's website: