As part of the Covid-19 emergency measures, the Government has issued the regulations that give local authorities greater flexibility in the conduct of meetings, including allowing members to attend remotely, and for public and press to access those meetings. These ‘Regulations’ (The Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020) came into force on 4 April.
Following the new regulations St Minver Lowlands Parish Council will be holding some Council meetings using ZOOM online meeting platform until further notice.
Requirements for joining a meeting
- A desktop or laptop computer or a tablet or a smartphone capable of connection to the internet.
- To effectively take part in the meeting the device should have a camera, microphone and preferably earpiece/phones. Use of speakers could cause an echo problem.
Before the meeting
- The Agenda will be placed on the website.
- Any member of the Public and Press who wish to attend a meeting will need to email the Clerk beforehand to receive the Login details.
- The App can be downloaded by visiting https://zoom.us/meetings. The website gives tutorials and demonstrations on how to download Zoom and how to join meetings.
- Members of the public are welcome to send any questions or comments via email to the Clerk prior to the meeting. These must be received two working days before the meeting and will be circulated to Councillors. These questions will be read out by the Clerk for inclusion in the meeting at the appropriate time.
- The Chair of the Council will Chair the meeting.
- The designated member of the Council will Host the meeting on Zoom.
- Members of the public will enter a “waiting room” on Zoom and wait for the Host to approve their attendance. It would be helpful if members of the public could ‘name their video’ so that the Chair and Clerk can refer to them correctly.
- All attendees will be muted on entry to the meeting. Members of the public, at the invitation of the Chairman, will be able to make representation during the public forum with the usual time restriction (2 minutes), and only once, in respect of business itemised on the agenda. This may be extended at the Chairman’s discretion.
- Members of the public will be asked to put their hand up if they wish to speak during the public forum. They can also use the ‘hand up’ icon provided on Zoom.
- The Host will “unmute” members of the public who wish to speak at the instruction of the Chairman.
- At the conclusion of the public forum the Host will “mute” all members of the public.
- The required standards of behaviour and discussion are the same whether in remote or face-to-face meetings. Members of the public who use or display inappropriate or offensive language and/or behaviour will be removed from the meeting to the waiting room. This includes any inappropriate backdrops on display on the video.
- Under the provisions of the Local Government Audit and Accountability Act 2014 (Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2014) members of the public are permitted to film or record Council meetings to which they are permitted access, in a non-disruptive manner. By logging in and participating in this meeting, you consent to this. If you do not wish to be recorded, please be advised not to login.
NB: the above will be reviewed as required and may be subject to change.