Local authority meetings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic [Archived]

The following Local Government practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Local authority meetings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic [Archived]
  • What does section 78 of the Coronavirus Act 2020 (CA 2020) mean for local authority meetings?
  • Which meetings are in scope of this section?
  • Which authorities does this apply to?
  • England
  • Wales
  • Northern Ireland
  • Enabling regulations
  • Remote attendance—England
  • Remote attendance—Wales
  • More...

Local authority meetings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic [Archived]

This Archived Practice Note considers the impact of the provisions of section 78 of Coronavirus Act 2020 (CA 2020) which came into force on 25 March 2020 and expired on 7 May 2021. These temporary provisions were designed to facilitate effective and efficient local authority meetings during the coronavirus pandemic and were generally considered to be an effective method of ensuring that local authorities could continue to have formal council and committee meetings, facilitating remote access to members of the public when appropriate. This Practice Note is for information only and is not maintained.

As part of the national response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, local authorities undertook a wide range of essential and additional functions, while also contributing to local resilience planning and continued delivery of local services.

Along with provisions introduced to allow the postponement of elections and by-elections, CA 2020, s 78 created powers to relax certain requirements in relation to local authority meetings for a limited period. An attempt was made to argue in the case of Hertfordshire CC v Secretary of State for HCLG that Schedule 12 of the Local Government Act 1972 (LGA 1972) could be read to allow statutory meetings to take place remotely following the date when the emergency coronavirus provisions granted by CA 2020, s 78 lapsed (7 May

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