Local Authority Remote Meetings - Call for Evidence

Closes 17 Jun 2021

Opened 25 Mar 2021

Overview

This call for evidence seeks to understand the experience of local authorities in the whole of the UK regarding remote meetings.

This is an open call for evidence. We particularly seek the views of individual members of the public; prospective and current local authority members/representatives; officers/leaders of local authorities who have been meeting remotely; and those bodies that represent the interests of local members/representatives at all levels.

Why we are consulting

The Government would like to gather evidence about the use of the current arrangements for local authorities to meet remotely or in hybrid format, as set out in The Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 (and the equivalent regulations for Wales and Northern Ireland) under powers granted by Section 78 of the Coronavirus Act 2020. These regulations came into force on 4 April 2020 and apply to meetings taking place before 7 May 2021.

Local authorities in Scotland had express provision to meet remotely prior to the pandemic, and we are also interested to understand their experience of remote meetings since their arrangements came into force.

We have also received representations from some, though by no means all, individual local authorities and sector representative organisations making the case for the express provision to meet remotely to be made permanent. The Government would like to hear from interested parties about the pros and cons of making such arrangements permanent, in whole or in part, for local authorities in England.

Give us your views