Friday 07 August 2020

Governance and Scrutiny

Democracy/Governance

Democratic Services Colleagues Practitioner network - EMC and ADSO colleagues in the region are hosting a virtual networking session, to provide Democratic Service colleagues with an opportunity to come together to share experiences, particularly where authorities are looking at setting up remote council meetings.  The meeting will take place on 9 October.

For more information on this contact kirsty.lowe@emcouncils.gov.uk

 

ADSO Guidance on remote committee meetings for English councils (and police and crime panels) - This ADSO guidance is an immediate response to the regulations and is based on the information available at the time. ADSO are conscious that there are still a number of questions to be answered and we are in dialogue with relevant civil servants to seek more explanation and clarity around certain issues. Therefore, it will update the guidance when further information is received [details here].

Councils given new powers to hold public meetings remotely - The Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020, available from here.  The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government press release here.

Data protection and coronavirus information - Information Commissioners Office information hub will help individuals and organisations navigate data protection during this unprecedented time [details here]. 

Scrutiny

East Midlands Scrutiny Network - Members of the East Midlands Scrutiny Network met virtually on 9 April 2020, conversations focused on the introductions of virtual council meetings.  In response EMC has been collating details of the preferred virtual meeting platforms being used by authorities, to support the sharing of information on use.  Along with sharing of information and guidance on best practice in holding virtual meetings.  For more information on this network contact kirsty.lowe@emcouncils.gov.uk.

The next meeting of the network will take place on 26 June. 

Centre for Public Scrutiny Scrutiny Guidance - In the past few weeks the Centre for Public Scrutiny has created five guides on 

Virtual Meetings guidance and useful resources

The LGAs Remote Council Meetings Hub

The LGA has launched a remote council meetings hub, in collaboration with Socitm, Lawyers in Local Government (LLG), National Association of Local Councils (NALC), Centre For Public Scrutiny (CfPS), Association of Democratic Officers (ADSO), as well as the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). The Hub is a central pool of information, advice and guidance from these partners across local government, including:

  • Regulations: Guidance around what the regulations mean for councils.
  • Guidance: On some of the practicalities, skills and etiquette required when holding remote council meetings both for officers and councillors.
  • Case studies: Examples and resources of councils that have piloted virtual meetings using various video conferencing platforms, including key points to consider and contacts to follow up with.
  • Peer to peer support: List of upcoming and previous virtual Council meetings and webchats/online discussion forum/webinar which colleagues can access to observe, share good practice, problem solve and learn from.

To reach the LGAs remote council meetings hub visit here - https://www.local.gov.uk/our-support/guidance-and-resources/remote-council-meetings 

Additional Shared Resources