In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic Newtown & Llanllwchaiarn Town Council meetings moved to remote online meetings in early 2020 when restrictions prevented meetings taking place in person.
Current legislation requires that any meeting of a body exercising public functions to be open to the public unless excluded by specific resolution. Therefore, all remote online meetings have and continue to be available for members of the public to attend and to see and hear proceedings.
New legislation the Local Government and Elections (Wales) Act 2021 provides a new and reformed legislative framework for local councils. It includes a package of reforms such as electoral franchise, general power of competence for eligible community councils, and increasing public participation in local democracy.
In response to the new legislation and following the experience of remote meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic; the town council agreed to proceed with a hybrid approach to meetings. Therefore, future meetings in due course will allow councillors, staff and members of the public to join both in person and remotely, increasing the accessibility of meetings to all.
Town Clerk Ed Humphreys said “Newtown Llanllwchaiarn Town Council is now sourcing equipment which will allow hybrid meetings to take place. It has also been agreed whilst installing the new audio-visual equipment into the Town Council Chambers that the provision of a public hearing loop will be included. The installation of the hearing loop has been part of the Council’s 5 year business plan and it seems an obvious opportunity to progress with this requirement”