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Local Government: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities

UIN HL4983, tabled on 15 December 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, whether local government bodies can hold meetings remotely if they choose.

Answered on

31 December 2021

A High Court judgement handed down on 27 April 2021 confirmed that the Local Government Act 1972 specifies that council meetings must take place in person at a single, specified, geographical location and being “present” at such a meeting involves physical presence at that location.

This judgement confirmed that the regulations which allowed local authorities to meet remotely during the Covid-19 pandemic did not apply to meetings after 6 May 2021.

Any permanent change would require primary legislation, and would depend upon Parliamentary time being available.

Non-statutory or other informal meetings where local authorities deem that in-person attendance is not required can be held virtually.