Scarborough Council to hold first virtual cabinet meeting

Scarborough Council is to hold its first virtual cabinet meeting tomorrow (Tuesday) under new powers granted to local authorities during the coronavirus crisis.

By Carl Gavaghan, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Monday, 11th May 2020, 9:38 am
Updated Monday, 11th May 2020, 4:46 pm

Meetings of committees, full council and cabinet have been suspended since the government’s stay at home instructions were introduced in March.

This was because of laws, which said meetings at which decisions are made, and votes taken, had to happen face to face with councillors all at the same location.

The Government has now changed this legislation to make virtual meetings possible.

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Scarborough Town Hall. Picture: JPI Media/ Richard Ponter

The first meeting to be held virtually will be a meeting of the council’s cabinet scheduled for 10am tomorrow (Tuesday). Councillors and officers will join the meeting using Zoom.

Members of the public will be able to watch the meeting live on the council’s YouTube channel at youtube.com/scarboroughcouncil

Testing of Zoom and alternative virtual platforms for committees that need to be attended by a greater number of councillors, is still being carried out.

The council had intended to hold two virtual licensing meetings last month but the plans had to be shelved due to issues with the technology.

Scarborough Council leader Steve Siddons. Picture: JPI Media/ Richard Ponter

Cllr Steve Siddons, Leader of Scarborough Borough Council said: “Despite the very difficult situation we have all found ourselves in during the coronavirus pandemic, it has always been our aim to get back to our key decision making in public as soon as possible, while adhering to the necessary social distancing and travel restrictions.

“I would like to thank the officers that have worked hard to test and hone the technology we will be using for next week’s Cabinet and subsequent committee meetings, particularly in ensuring other councillors and members of the public will be able to participate in and view the meetings.

“We will continue to look at ways in which all council meetings can be held successfully using a virtual platform. We will also be advised by any future government announcements on easing of restrictions and guidance for local authorities.”

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