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High Court Judgement - councils must return to physical meetings from 7th May

High Court Judgement - councils must return to physical meetings from 7th May

All Government Covid restrictions must be followed as they stand at any particular time.

Response strongly urged: Continuation of Remote Meetings – call for evidence
Further to the government's decision last week not to extend remote meeting powers, NALC, working with other stakeholders, has submitted written evidence to the court as part of the legal proceedings supporting a legal declaration on the ability of councils to hold remote meetings.

Parish, Town and Community Councils are strongly urged to respond to the government's 12-week call for evidence about how remote meetings have been used.

Extract From MHCLG Local Government Bulletin 29th April:

Letter to councils on High Court judgment – council meetings

Today (29 April), the Minister of State for Regional Growth and Local Government, Luke Hall MP, wrote to council leaders in England about yesterday's (28 April) High Court judgment confirming that the Local Government Act 1972 does not permit councils to hold meetings remotely.

The High Court concluded that existing legislation specifies that council meetings must take place in person at a single, specified, geographical location and being "present" at such a meeting involves physical presence at that location.

In the letter, the Minister also confirmed that regulations which have allowed councils to meet remotely during the COVID-19 outbreak, do not apply to meetings after 6 May and added that, as explained in his letter of 25 March, the government has concluded that it is not possible to secure primary legislation to extend the regulations to meetings beyond this date.

In order to support councils with returning to face-to-face meetings after 6 May, MHCLG has, today (29 April), updated the guidance on the safe use of council buildings to reflect the High Court judgment and setting out how councils can use existing powers to reduce the number of face-to-face meetings.

Councils are also being encouraged to share their experiences via a call for evidence about how remote meetings have been used during the COVID-19 outbreak. This will be used to inform any potential future steps regarding the use of remote meetings in the long-term, and closes on 17 June.

Correspondence: (25 March)




Posted: Fri, 30 Apr 2021 12:31 by Sue Campbell

Tags: Councils