Virtual meetings

Virtual council meetings

In order to ensure transparent decision-making and effective governance during the COVID-19 pandemic, the council held virtual committee meetings from May 19, 2020 utilising Microsoft Teams Live Events technology. These meetings were accessible by members of the public and all public meetings ran in this format for the remainder of the financial year 2020/21, in accordance with temporary legislation.

Local authorities were permitted to hold virtual meetings from 4 April 2020, when regulations came into force under the Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/392), made under section 78 of the Coronavirus Act 2020.

Regulations applied to all local authorities in England and Wales and specified that a ‘meeting’ of a local authority could take place lawfully online, with members ‘in remote attendance’ who can hear and be heard by, and if possible see and be seen by, other members.

However, section 78 of the Coronavirus Act 2020 only permitted regulations to apply to council meetings that took place before 7 May 2021. After this date and in accordance with legislation,  we have reverted to holding our committee meetings in person, details of which can be found under individual committee agendas.

Technology requirements

There are a few minimum requirements to ensure you can watch the meetings:

  • Make sure your web browser allows third-party cookies
  • If you're viewing the meeting over the internet, use a media-source extension (MSE)-enabled web browser like Chrome, Firefox, or Edge. Safari is not currently supported
  • You need to download the Microsoft Teams app before the meeting starts. Instructions can be found here

How to watch a live meeting

We’ve prepared some easy-to-follow instructions on how you can watch a virtual council meeting on a PC or mobile device using Microsoft Teams.

These instructions will also be available with the agenda, along with a live meeting link. This link will be available at least 24 hours before the start of the meeting and will allow you to watch the live meeting as it is broadcast.

You will not be able to take part in the meeting via this link, and councillors will not know who is viewing the meeting. You can join, leave and rejoin the meeting at any time.

Once you have the app downloaded you can view future meetings simply by clicking the link in the meeting details. This will bring up Microsoft Teams automatically.

Calendar of meetings

The following meetings are live streamed:

  • Council
  • Cabinet
  • Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee
  • Planning and Rights of Way
  • Scrutiny Inquiry
  • Licensing Committee by exception

All meeting details, including agendas, papers and links to the live broadcasts, can be accessed on the Calendar of Meetings page.