Changes to council meetings and decisions due to COVID-19 (coronavirus)

We've adapted our decision making process due to coronavirus and are now holding a number of our regular council meetings virtually using online technology.

Cabinet meetings

We held our first virtual Cabinet meeting on 15 April 2020, using the flexibility provided by recent regulations made under the Coronavirus Act 2020. Watch our recent cabinet meeting via the webcast facility.

You'll be able to find out about future meetings, how to watch them or find out agendas and reports from past meetings

The cabinet system of decision making allows councillors to ‘call in’ items they feel need greater scrutiny from fellow elected councillors. These call in arrangements remain in place as usual and, if needed, a virtual meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee will be arranged.

Annual Council, Full Council and appointments

As part of the Coronavirus Act 2020, we will not be holding our Annual Council in May. Existing appointments made by us, including to the position of the Mayor, will continue.

We’re not arranging any Full Council meetings for the foreseeable future. We’ll keep this under review if any decisions arise that we need to make.

Overview and Scrutiny Committee (OSC) meetings

We’re running our OSC meetings virtually, but in a slightly different way to make sure the meetings run effectively.

All OSC members can participate in scrutiny activity. We usually have 34 OSC members who have an open invitation to all meetings. We’ve changed these, so meetings include the set 12 workstream members, but with all OSC members invited to submit questions in advance of meetings. The Chair will cover these questions time-allowing.

In addition to this, the Chair has been in regular contact with NHS colleagues, and we have provided updates to committee members. 

Read the papers and view webcasts of all our OSC meetings.

We’ve only had to cancel two of our Overview and Scrutiny Committee (OSC) meetings at the beginning of the pandemic, but we published the relevant reports for information on our website and arranged an extra meeting as technology allowed.

Planning Regulatory Board

We held our first virtual planning regulatory board meeting on the 19 May 2020. Members of the public requested to speak before the meeting, and were able to use digital technology to address the board on major applications.  

You’ll be able to view the agenda a week before the meeting. 

The Head of Planning and their team of planning officers will continue to make delegated decisions on routine applications as usual, and it may be that the number of applications decided in this way increases during this period of social distancing. Only a limited number of the most significant applications will be determined by the board. This will make meetings easier to hold by virtual means. 

We’re also reducing the number of members on the board to 13 (usually 26) to make virtual meetings operate more smoothly. Each political group is nominating members. The opposition groups will each be nominating one member in addition to 10 members nominated by the majority group.