Virtual committee meetings begin in West Suffolk

West Suffolk Council’s first virtual council meeting will be held next week to overcome strict Covid-19 social distancing rules.

The live broadcast will begin a couple of minutes before the 10am start time.

The meeting will operate in a similar way to a normal Development Control Committee with presentations from officers, representations from the public, following which members will debate each application before voting on them electronically.

As previously, members of the public will only be able to make representations to the committee if they have already registered and the link to the meeting will only allow others to view and listen to the meeting.

The revised public speaking protocol means that members of the public must register to speak by 9am the day before the committee, to allow time needed to ensure access. Those involved with the applications have been informed.

West Suffolk Council’s Development Control Committee meeting on Wednesday, May 13, will be the authority’s first public meeting to be held entirely online following government amendment of legislation to allow this to happen.

The meeting is scheduled to hear five planning applications. Members of the public can join through Microsoft Teamslive using the link on the agenda published on the council website, where they will also find guidance.

John Griffiths, leader of West Suffolk Council, said: “I welcome this innovation and believe it is vitally important that residents can keep in touch with the decisions being taken by councillors – even more so perhaps in these challenging times. Like everyone, councillors are finding new ways of working from their own homes and we are , and look forward to, getting on with vital council business in as open and democratic way as possible while responsibly adhering to guidance about essential travel and social distancing.”


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