Members of the public will have more opportunities to take part in decision making under changes to the way Torbay Council meetings take place.
From May, members of the public will be able to take part in meetings either remotely or in person.
At the Cabinet meeting held on Tuesday 19 April, Members agreed to award a contract for hybrid and livestreaming of Cabinet, Planning Committee and Full Council meetings.
The trial contract which will run until July 2023 will allow for members of the public to be able to attend virtually or in person.
Anyone will be able to view the meetings as they take place, by watching the livestream on the Council’s website.
Following a successful trial, decisions will be made on more permanent arrangements.
During the pandemic meetings were held using Zoom, allowing people to join in using a link and speak under the public participation elements of the meetings.
In line with national legislation the Council then had to return to in person meetings with Planning Committee and Council meetings recorded. The audio then shared on Torbay Council’s website after the meeting.
Councillor Christine Carter, Cabinet Member for Corporate and Community Services, said; “We hope this contract will encourage greater public participation and engagement.
“Residents will be able to join in with Cabinet and planning committee meetings after they’ve registered with us, giving them the chance to have their say and contribute to the decision-making process either in person or remotely.
“The pandemic showed us all different ways of working, particularly in terms of embracing technology, so we look forward to seeing how this trial works.
“We’ll evaluate it and come up with a long-term solution for how meetings could run in the future.”
Cabinet and planning meetings normally take place in the Meadfoot Room of Torquay Town Hall, while Full Council meetings are usually held at the Riviera Centre. Further information on public participation at meetings can be found on Torbay Council’s website: www.torbay.gov.uk/get-involved
To speak at meetings, members of the public will need to register in advance by contacting email@example.com
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