Brighton & Hove will see ‘digital democracy’ in action from this week as councillors meet for the first in a series of virtual meetings to ensure the efficient running of the city throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Planning Committee will be the first council committee to meet virtually, using video-conferencing technology – which will also allow members of the public to make representations where necessary.
The Planning Committee will meet today, 22 April, followed tomorrow by the first virtual meeting of the full council.
Virtual meetings will use Skype
All virtual meetings will be held using Skype. Options for members of the public to speak on a specific matter on the agenda, such as a planning matter, include dialling in using a pre-designated link. Interested parties could also have questions/deputations presented on their behalf by a council officer if unable to join a telephone conference themselves.
Meanwhile, the public can continue to follow all committee meetings as usual by watching webcasts of individual meetings.
Council leader Nancy Platts praised the hard work of the council’s officers and staff in making the virtual meetings possible.
“Embracing digital technology will help us ensure the day-to-day business of the council is conducted as efficiently and effectively as possible while social distancing restrictions remain in place,” Councillor Platts said.
“It’s equally important that the council continues to be accountable to our residents and businesses at this time and temporary measures, such as virtual meetings with which the public can be involved, will help us achieve that.”