The Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations permit remote attendance in Local Authority meetings.

Remote attendance is permitted as long as certain conditions are satisfied. These include that the Member is able to hear and be heard by the other Members in attendance. Also, being able to hear and be heard by any members of the public entitled to attend the meeting (in line with the Council’s constitution Council procedure rules). A visual solution is preferred, but audio is sufficient.

This also relates to members of the public attending the meeting also being heard.

The regulations are clear that a meeting is not limited to those present in the same place, but includes electronic, digital or virtual locations (internet locations, web addresses or conference call telephone numbers).

A precis of the Regulations is contained in Appendix One of this protocol.

Microsoft Teams is the system recommended for hosting remote / virtual meetings. It has functionality for audio, video, and screen sharing and you do not need to be a member of an organisation (or have a Teams account) to join a Teams meeting.

Access to meeting documents

Setting up the meeting

Including external participants

Joining the meeting

Starting the meeting

Quorum

Interests

Notice to speak - Members

Public participation

The meeting and debate

Meeting etiquette 

Voting

Part B “Confidential/Exempt Information” reports and debate

Interpretation of Constitution

Disorderly conduct by members

Disturbance from members of the public

After the meeting

Technical issues

Disability