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This Addendum on the Standing Orders re Covid-19

Updated: Feb 7

GEORGEHAM PARISH COUNCIL


This Addendum on the Standing Orders was adopted on 30 April 2020.

The draft was prepared by Cornwall Council and circulated to Town and Parish

Councils for consideration by the Devon Association of Local Councils.


The Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of

Local Authority Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales)

Regulations 2020 allow local councils to hold remote meetings. The regulations

give automatic authority to hold remote meetings and amend standing orders as

required.


These regulations remain in force until May 7th , 2021 or earlier if repealed, and

require a number of temporary changes to Standing Orders.


General

This Protocol and Procedures should be read in conjunction with the Council’s

standing orders.


The Regulations made under s78 of Coronavirus Act 2020 apply and where there

is a conflict between these and any other adopted standing orders or legislation,

these Remote Meetings Procedures take precedence in relation to any remote

meeting.


1) Annual Meeting

a) The requirement to hold an Annual Meeting of the Council is to be

disregarded and prior to May 7th , 2021 may only take place

i) where called by the Chair or

ii) following a resolution calling for an annual meeting being passed at an ordinary or extra ordinary meeting of the Council.


2) Access to Information

a) Where a document is required to be ‘open to inspection’ this shall include

published on the website of the council.

b) Where a document is required to be published and made available at the

council’s offices, this shall include published on the website of the council.

c) Where there is a requirement to publish information including public

notices, agendas, minutes, background papers and written reports, this

shall include published on the website of the council.


3) Remote Access to Meetings

a) The definition of meeting within the Council’s standing orders is amended

so that


i) ‘place’ includes where a meeting is held, or to be held in more than

one place including electronic, digital or virtual locations such as

internet locations, web addresses or conference call telephone

numbers

ii) ‘open to the public’ includes access to the meeting by remote means

including video conferencing, live webcasting and interactive streaming

iii) where a meeting is accessible to the public through remote means, the

meeting is open to the public whether or not members of the public are

able to attend the meeting in person.


b) If the Council becomes aware that the its technology has failed, and the

meeting is no longer accessible to the public, the meeting shall be

adjourned.

c) If public access cannot be restored within a reasonable period, the

remaining business shall be deferred to a future meeting.


4) Councillors in Remote Attendance

a) A councillor in remote attendance is present and counted for the purposes

of the quorum when they can:

i) hear and where practicable see other members of the council

ii) hear and where practicable see members of the public wishing to

participate during the public session of the meeting or as invited by the

Chairman

b) A councillor in remote attendance will be deemed to have left the meeting

where, at any point in time during the meeting, any of the conditions for

remote attendance at 4 a) are not met.

c) Subject to 4 b) the Chairman may if appropriate

i) adjourn the meeting to permit conditions for remote attendance to be

re-established

ii) count the number of councillors in attendance for the purpose of the

quorum


5) Remote attendance by members of the public

a) A member of the public is in remote attendance when they can :

i) hear and where practicable see and so be heard and where practicable

seen by members of the council at the meeting

ii) hear and where practicable see and so be heard and where practicable

seen by other members of the public attending the meeting including

those wishing to speak during the public session or as invited by the

Chairman

b) A member of the public in remote attendance will be deemed to have left

the meeting where, at any point in time during the meeting, any of the

conditions for remote attendance at 5 a) are not met.

c) Subject to 5 b) the Chairman may if appropriate


i) adjourn the meeting to permit conditions for remote attendance to be

re-established

ii) vary the order of the agenda or complete the remaining business of

the meeting in the absence of the member of the public in remote

attendance.


6) Remote Voting

Unless a recorded vote is demanded, the Chair will take the vote by :

a) confirmation of the meeting that there is agreement or

b) a roll call and the number of votes for or against the motion or

amendment or abstaining will be recorded.


7) Code of Conduct – councillors excluded from the meeting

Where a councillor is required to leave the room as a requirement of the

Council’s code of conduct, the means of remote attendance and access will

be severed whilst any discussion or vote take place.


8) Exclusion of the press and public

Where the council has resolved to exclude the press and public from any part

of the meeting, due to the confidentiality of the business to be discussed then

:

a) The means of remote attendance and access to the meeting by members

of the press and public will be severed

b) Each councillor present shall declare that there are no other persons

present who are not entitled to be (hearing or seeing), and/or recording

the meeting.

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