Council sets out timetable for virtual meetings

Date published: 27 April 2020
The West Lindsey District Council office building

West Lindsey District Council will host its first virtual Planning Committee meeting on Wednesday, April 29.

The meeting, which will be the first one held at the Council, which can be watched by members of the public through the website.

All councillors have been invited to undertake training on how to use the software to be able to help them to participate in the new way of working.

As previously reported, all meetings in April and May were cancelled except the Planning Committees.

Chairman of the Planning Committee, Cllr Ian Fleetwood said: “We are all having to do a lot of things differently to help save lives and protect the NHS and as a district Council we are no different.

“I am pleased to be able to chair our first virtual Planning Committee at West Lindsey District Council on April 29. Thanks to our democratic team at the council – we have been given some training and I am sure this will be an interesting meeting. We need to ensure that we continue to determine planning applications as this is one way that we will be support the recovery as we come out of the Covid-19.”

The Planning Department at the Council has seen a record level of planning applications in March totalling 174 compared to the usual amount of 115 a month. There has been a mixture of major, minor and household applications

The Council has put in place measure to enable all meetings planned for June, July and August will go ahead virtually and a new timetable has been uploaded on to the Council’s website.

All meetings of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee have been cancelled until September 2020 and the annual Council has been postponed until September 2020(subject to social distancing being lifted or at least relaxed, this will be reviewed towards the end of July).

Leader of West Lindsey District Council Cllr Giles McNeill said: “I am pleased that West Lindsey found itself well placed to adapt to different methods of working and that officers have managed to get the regulations in place to enable our committee members to make decisions as opposed to relying on delegated powers as they are passionate about what they do and want to be involved as much as they can. I would like to highlight that any business proceeding through committees during this time may be restricted to urgent business only, in order to facilitate effective decision making in a virtual environment.

“Our committee meetings will be webcast live on the website which means residents can view the proceeds as though they walked in to the committee to watch it and means we are able to maintain our open and transparent policy. I would like to thank all those councillors for undergoing the training and I hope that it all goes well.”

Public participation in meetings has been temporarily changed, for Policy Committees due to the current situation. However, people can still take part as long as they register two days before.

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