Green councillors: Banning remote attendance undemocratic
- Credit: Archant
Green councillors across North Somerset have called for the reinstatement of hybrid meetings - allowing members to attend meetings remotely.
The motion has been pushed by Green representatives across the UK, calling on the Government to 'make democracy more accessible.'
North Somerset Green Councillor, Dr Karin Haverson, agreed, saying refusal to permanently facilitate virtual attendance could result in discrimination.
Dr Haverson said: “Greens believe the reinstatement of hybrid meetings is essential to the democratic process.
"Enforcing attendance in person-only meetings restricts disabled people and people with caring responsibilities to fully and fairly participate.
"We need to make it as easy as possible for people from all sorts of backgrounds and circumstances to become councillors and for those elected to represent their communities. That means the reinstatement of hybrid council meetings - permanently.”
The Local Government Association (LGA) completed a survey among local authorities last year, before the emergence of Omicron, on the impact of returning exclusively to in-person meetings.
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The results showed that 72 per cent of councils saw a drop in councillor attendance at statutory council meetings and 73 per cent reported that public attendance at council meetings had also fallen.