City of Wolverhampton Council has announced that it will use technology to host meetings remotely in response to the social distancing requirements.
Using Microsoft Teams Live, councillors will be able to participate from home and the public will be able to watch proceedings via the council website.
Two meetings of the council’s licensing sub-committee have already taken place online successfully in recent weeks.
Meetings of the council’s key decision-making committees: Cabinet, Cabinet (Resources) Panel, Planning Committee, Statutory Licensing Committee, Non Statutory Licensing Committee, Audit and Risk Committee and Scrutiny Board will take place online between May and July.
The position will be regularly reviewed taking into account the latest Government guidance on social distancing.
The council has also extended the 2019-2020 municipal year, meaning that the annual council meeting (where a new Mayor and other key positions are appointed), which would have taken place this month, will now not take place until a date to be confirmed in the Autumn.
Existing postholders will remain in place until then.
Council leader, Councillor Ian Brookfield, said: “It is important that local democracy continues during the coronavirus response and technology enables our councillors to meet online to debate, discuss and make decisions.
“It also maintains the transparency of decision-making with the public able to watch the proceedings online.
“Social distancing is an essential part of maintaining the safety of individuals and also prevents the virus from being spread. Council meetings have traditionally been held in committee rooms at the Civic Centre, but technology means we can do it in a safer way during the pandemic.
“Hosting virtual meetings and the decision to postpone annual council until the autumn were powers granted to local authorities by the Government and they are sensible steps to ensure we can continue our business to help those in need and lead our city through these unprecedented times.”
A full schedule of council meetings is available via ModernGov.