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Coronavirus: Plans for virtual council meetings in Harrogate

Coronavirus: Plans for virtual council meetings in Harrogate

Published by Local Democracy Reporter Jacob Webster at 3:05pm 24th March 2020.

Harrogate Borough Council is making moves to hold its meetings virtually - as the government looks to push through emergency laws to keep councils functioning through the coronavirus crisis.

  • Harrogate Borough Council is considering holding virtual meetings during the outbreak. 
  • All upcoming council meetings have been cancelled until further notice.
  • Virtual meeting will not be live-streamed to the public. 

It comes after a series of measures were announced by Local Government Secretary of State, MP Robert Jenrick , including advice on how council meetings could look moving forward as the nation adjusts to a new norm in lockdown.

Now, Harrogate’s local authority is looking at what technology it can use to bring its councillors together to make key decisions on its services – after all of its upcoming meetings were cancelled until further notice.

However, the virtual meetings will not be live-streamed to the public after councillors previously said that webcasting would be too expensive.

A spokesperson for Harrogate Borough Council said:

“We think this is a helpful step forward as it means we can continue to make decisions and get the democracy process going again.

“We now need to make sure we get a suitable technical solution in place and then test it.

“We think think this will take a couple of weeks by which time, the legislation will have been introduced.”