Windsor and Maidenhead to ‘test’ live in-person meetings
Live streaming in-person meetings via Zoom should be tested by the Royal district next week.
Throughout the pandemic, councils across the country have met remotely via video conference to discuss and make important decisions that impact their communities.
Despite the coronavirus still present in the UK, the High Court ruled that council meetings in England must be held in person from May 7, hoping remote meetings can continue.
Following the announcement, the Local Democracy Reporting Service asked the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead how the meetings would go.
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A board spokesperson said they would ‘test’ Zoom at the first in-person audit and governance committee meeting on Monday and look for ‘longer-term solutions’ for live streaming of committees and meetings.
Before the pandemic, unlike Slough Borough Council which was broadcasting its council meetings live, the Royal Borough used Periscope to live stream some of their meetings and / or broadcast an audio file of the meeting a few days later.
The spokesperson said: “Public squares will be socially distanced, and the number of seats will depend on the layout of the room / the size of the committee.
“For larger meetings of significant public interest, we use external venues.
“For example, the Royal Borough Development Management Committee on May 19 will be held at the Holiday Inn in Maidenhead.
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“Only people who wish to register as a public speaker need to do so in advance.
“There is also a QR code at reception at Town Hall and York House and people will be encouraged to scan the code when attending a meeting. This is part of the board’s risk assessment. ”
They added that anyone wishing to attend in person must wear a face mask (unless exempted) and people will not be required to take a lateral flow test, but are encouraged to do so.
Anyone who has symptoms of Covid, such as a high temperature, should stay home.
Slough Borough Council
A spokesperson for Slough City Council said they will continue to broadcast the meetings through their website and if people want to watch in person they should contact the council and arrangements will be made.
The annual council meeting will be held at the Farnham Road Center rather than the council chamber to accommodate officers and 42 social distancing advisers.