To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans his Department has to extend the ability of local authorities to hold meetings remotely through (a) primary and (b) secondary legislation; and if he will publish those plans.
24 March 2021
Where local authority meetings take place face-to-face the ‘Working safely during cornavirus’ guidance published on gov.uk should be followed. Ultimately it is for local authorities to carry out their own risk assessments and follow the ‘working safely’ guidance to ensure meetings take place safely. It is for the local authority to decide what is appropriate in their specific circumstances.
The Government keeps all policy under review. To extend the facility for all local authorities to continue to meet remotely or in hybrid form after 7 May 2021 would require primary legislation.
We have received representations from local authorities and sector representative organisations making the case for the continuation of remote meetings beyond 7 May 2021 and are carefully considering next steps in this area.