Fight to retain virtual meetings in local government

by Lawyers in Local Government & the Association of Democratic Services Officers

Fight to retain virtual meetings in local government

by Lawyers in Local Government & the Association of Democratic Services Officers
Lawyers in Local Government & the Association of Democratic Services Officers
Case Owner
LLG & ADSO support over 5000 lawyers & democratic services officers in local government in the essential work that they do in supporting their councils and their communities through good governance.
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Lawyers in Local Government & the Association of Democratic Services Officers
Case Owner
LLG & ADSO support over 5000 lawyers & democratic services officers in local government in the essential work that they do in supporting their councils and their communities through good governance.
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Latest: April 28, 2021

We may have lost the battle, but we are still fighting the war......

The application to the High Court made by ADSO, LLG and Hertfordshire County Council in relation to virtual meeting provision for local authorities has today been dismissed.

In view of the level of su…

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Lawyers in Local Government (LLG) and the Association of Democratic Services Officers (ADSO) fundamentally believe that the ability to deliver democracy and make decisions in remote meetings decision that was granted to local authorities during the coronavirus crisis should be maintained.  

This is about maintaining choice not delivering a mandate - local authorities and town councils should be able to choose whether to meet in person or virtually dependent on circumstances - the type of meeting, the content, the availability of attendees, the accessibility requirements of attendees, requirements around social distancing etc. It’s about ensuring that councils can operate in the same modern, contemporary way as other organisations in the 21st century.

On the 21st April we are seeking a declaration by a judge in the High Court that the 1972 Local Government Act can now be interpreted to permit local authorities and town councils to make decisions via virtual meetings. We are looking to raise £20,000 to contribute to a proportion of the costs of the case. 

We are two small organisations trying to effect an essential national change that will enable local authorities to function more efficiently and effectively not just throughout the remaining path out of lockdown, but on an ongoing basis. The legal action is hugely valuable to all local authorities, however it comes at a significant price to LLG and ADSO and we would welcome any financial support you are able to give.

We do hope you can support us in securing a better future.

Thank you

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Update 1

Lawyers in Local Government & the Association of Democratic Services Officers

April 28, 2021

We may have lost the battle, but we are still fighting the war......

The application to the High Court made by ADSO, LLG and Hertfordshire County Council in relation to virtual meeting provision for local authorities has today been dismissed.

In view of the level of support for the option of remote meetings LLG and ADSO are very disappointed at the decision of the court to refuse to support the updated interpretation we proposed which would have enabled councils to continue providing the option of remote attendance.

We recognise that this will be a great disappointment for many across the sector and we will now direct our energy, and the momentum that has been generated, into lobbying government to quickly bring forward the necessary legislation to overcome this impasse and to ensure that councils have local choice to determine the methodology by which meetings can take place. Not just during the pandemic, but for the long term, in perpetuity. The Government’s call for evidence is currently open. It is vitally important that you respond to that call and ensure our voice continues to be heard. We will continue to strive to effect change and will lobby for legislation to make decision making in virtual meetings a reality for local authorities.

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