Council meetings in Lincolnshire and Rutland return to face-to-face formats but people can continue watching online
When Jackie Weaver took members of Handforth Parish Council to task over Zoom, the entertainment value of local council meetings reached an astonishing peak.
And, for those who have enjoyed keeping up with parish politics from the comfort of the sofa, the good news is this looks set to continue. Unless you happen to be on the council.
For elected members, meetings return today to a face-to-face format to be held in village halls and council chambers. But in many cases the people they serve can still watch online.
Local authorities were given powers to hold public meetings virtually in April 2020 because of the public health threat posed by Covid-19.
In line with the easing of lockdown and the growing number of people being vaccinated, these powers have now been revoked.
Rutland County Council will use Rutland County Museum while the council chamber continues to be used as a covid vaccination centre.
South Kesteven District Council will hold full council meetings at the Meres Leisure Centre in Grantham, because the town's council chamber in St Peter's Hill does not provide enough social distancing space for the 56 members. Committees will be able to meet in the chamber.
Public access to both councils' meetings will continue to be available online, while there will be a limited number of spaces for members of the public wishing to attended in person. People should contact the council in advance because numbers will be controlled to help with social distancing.
To watch a Rutland County Council meeting online, people can go to www.rutland.gov.uk/meetings. Anyone without internet access can find out more about attending meetings in person or virtually by calling Rutland County Council on 01572 722 577.
People wishing to watch a South Kesteven District Council meeting online can go to www.southkesteven.gov.uk to browse the calendar of meetings. Alternatively, call 01476 406080 to arrange to attend a meeting in person.
Lincolnshire County Council says it is exploring a number of options including holding meetings at current and alternative venues.
Debbie Barnes, chief executive of Lincolnshire County Council said: “We want to speak to the new group leaders on this matter following the elections, which will decide the best way forward for this and future council meetings. We’re also expecting more clarity over rules regarding public attendance and viewing of meetings.”
- Rutland County Council's annual meeting - 7pm on Monday (May 10)
- Stamford Town Council's annual meeting - 6pm on Thursday (May 13)
- South Kesteven District Council's annual meeting - 1pm on Thursday, May 20
- Bourne Town Council’s annual meeting - 7pm on Tuesday, May 25
- Uppingham Town Council's annual meeting - 7.30pm on Thursday, May 27