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Virtual Council Meetings-conventions-1 month review

Meeting: 08/07/2020 - Civic Affairs (Item 31)

31 Virtual Council Meetings-conventions-1 month review pdf icon PDF 261 KB


The Committee received a report from the?Democratic Services Manager which reviewed after one month the local conventions on how council meetings were run in a virtual way arising from the provisions in the Coronavirus Act 2020 and associated Regulations. 


The Democratic Services Manager informed the Committee of an amendment to the recommendation i (deleted text struck through). 


  i.  Note that the officers recommend no change to the conventions at this stage. except for how voting is undertaken at Full Council (see appendix), but they will be kept under review taking into account both local and national experience. 


The Committee noted the deletion. The Committee was advised that a member had requested that the Chair when taking the vote went first to the spokes (rather than alphabetical) and that this change had happened.  Chairs had operated the conventions pragmatically and there had been no concerns expressed. 


Following a discussion on the increased time that virtual meetings seemed to take the Democratic Services Manager and Chief Executive said the following: 


  i.  Indicated that it would be appropriate for Members to reflect on contributions made at meetings.  With meetings being recorded, behaviour and contributions can be easily reviewed. 

  i.  Stressed the importance of regular breaks. 

  ii.  Conversations regarding timings for full council meetings had been held with the Mayor and group leaders. 

  iii.  Would investigate personal development opportunities on working in a virtual meeting environment. 

  ii.  Noted the concerns raised regarding voting at full council; there needed to be a clear view on how members had voted on each item of business and this was being discussed with the Mayor to ensure that a procedure would be in place. 


Resolved (unanimously)?to: 


  i.  Note that the officers recommend no change to the conventions at this stage. 

  ii.  Consider any changes to the conventions Members have suggested in light of experience at meetings held so far. 

  iii.  Note that a longer term review of the use of virtual meetings will be undertaken as the national experience matures and in line with the council’s own transformative agenda.