Protocol For Remote Meetings

Protocol For Remote Meetings

The protocol below will be followed by Darwen Town Council when holding meetings in line with The Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) regulations 2020.

Members are reminded of the need to ensure that they are fully conversant with the meeting documentation posted on the town council website prior to the meeting and ensure that they have means of referring to the same during the meeting, if they require.

  1. Meeting platform

Darwen Town Council will conduct its remote meetings via Zoom and the deputy chairman will make such financial arrangements in order to facilitate such a subscription.

  • Hardware

Members will be asked to confirm to the clerk that they have suitable devices to enable them to either see and be seen in the meeting or hear and be heard.

If any member does not have such a device to enable them to participate in the meeting, the council will make such arrangements as reasonably practicable to enable them to do so. This action will be delegated to the clerk to facilitate.

  • Notice of meeting

Summons will continue to be served on members by the agreed method (email or post). Public invitations to the meeting will be published on the town council website and will explain how members of the public may virtually attend such.

Members of the public will also be provided with an electronic invitation and meeting password in order to gain entry into the meeting.

Any confidential matters for the which it would be necessary to exclude members of the public and press under the public (Admissions to Meetings Act 1960) will be discussed as a separate meeting for which the electronic invitation and meeting password will only be disclosed to members.

  • Conduct

All present, whether members or public, are reminded of the need to treat each other with respect. Members are reminded of the need to observe the councilโ€™s Code of Conduct.

  • Public participation
    • Members of the public are welcome to ask questions of the council during the public forum
    • The Mayor/deputy chairman will read out the format of the public forum as published on the agenda. Members of the public are asked to comply with the format.
    • Those members of the public wishing to ask a question of the council should raise their hand during the public forum. The Mayor/deputy chairman will then decide the order in which members of the public should put questions to the council and the deputy chairman will unmute their microphone.
    • The council may decide to defer consideration of any question to a future meeting or to a committee.
  • Council/Discussion for voting
    • The Mayor/deputy chairman or chairman of a committee, if a committee meeting, will chair the meeting.
    • All microphones will be muted on admission to the meeting.
    • The deputy chairman will unmute the microphones.
    • If members wish to speak, they should raise their hands, the Mayor/deputy chairman will then decide in which order a member may speak.
    • If a member does not have a device which enables them to participate visually, the Mayor/deputy chairman will ask members individually if they wish to speak on a matter.
    • Voting on a matter will be by a show of hands, noted by the clerk.
    • If members wish to declare an interest in the matter and wish to leave the meeting, they should make The Mayor/deputy chairman aware at the beginning of the meeting in order that they may be asked to log out of the meeting when the time comes and then log back in after the clerk has contacted them by phone.
    • Any documents needed for the meeting will be provided via email prior to the meeting and will be read out by The Mayor/deputy chairman for those who are only able to listen in.
  • Minutes
  • Minutes will be signed at the first physical meeting of the council.
    • Zoom permits recordings of the meetings, so the clerk can check the accuracy of the minutes.

Author: Rebecca Hay