Islington Council launches online committee meetings during coronavirus lockdown: Islington Town Hall

20 Apr 2020

Islington Council launches online committee meetings during coronavirus lockdown

Islington Council will this week launch the borough’s first ever virtual committee meetings, as the borough’s democratic services adapt in response to the coronavirus crisis.

Under normal circumstances, local authorities are required to hold committee meetings in person. The Local Government Act 1972 requires votes to be taken by members “present” at a meeting, which meant that members had to be physically present in a council building.

In light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the government has temporarily removed this requirement, allowing local authorities to hold meetings virtually using video or telephone conferencing technology.

Islington’s first ever online committee meeting will be a meeting of Licensing Sub-Committee B on Thursday 23 April at 6:30pm to discuss a premises license variation of the Kiss Me Lounge on Essex Road. This will be followed by a Planning Committee meeting at 7:30pm which will consider five planning applications for sites around the borough.

The meetings will be conducted using Zoom, an online video-conferencing application.

In light of social distancing requirements, many councillors are already holding “virtual surgeries”, allowing residents to discuss any concerns with their ward councillors online.

Cllr Satnam Gill, Executive Member for Finance and Performance and the council’s lead on democratic services, said:

“The ongoing coronavirus crisis is the greatest public health emergency of our time, and it has led to a great deal of changes for all of us in the way we live and work.

“For the council this has meant drastic changes to the way we deliver our services. Video conferencing technology allows us to continue our important role in facilitating local democracy and to remain as transparent and publicly accountable as possible. Despite the challenges this crisis has thrown up, we are excited to make our first foray into this new digital frontier of local democracy.

“Any local residents with an interest in the proceedings are welcome to attend the virtual meetings on Thursday via Zoom.”

Notes to editors

  • The council’s first virtual committee meetings will be conducted via Zoom. Instructions for how to access the meetings can be found on the council’s website.
  • Committee meetings are formal council meetings of elected representatives being held in public, rather than public meetings. The Chair of the meeting will run the meeting through formal proceedings, and will retain their authority to manage who is able to speak and actively participate in the meeting just as they would if the meeting were held in person.

Media contact Information

If you are a member of the media and would like more information please contact:

Islington Council media team – media@islington.gov.uk or 020 7527 2307.  Out of hours: 07769 163303

If you are a member of the public with a general question about the council please contact:

Contact Islington – www.islington.gov.uk/contactus or 020 7527 2000