Council meetings return face to face

The first face-to-face decision-making meetings of 2021 will take place this Thursday, 13 May, when the Policy & Resources Committee meets physically.  

During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic temporary UK government legislation meant that council committees and other important meetings could take place virtually in order to keep democracy and public health Covid safe. 

That legislation has now come to an end and committee meetings are now expected to take place physically rather than virtually. 

How to join a committee meeting

The easiest and safest way for you to join and listen to a council committee meeting is still virtually through our webcast. 

You can watch meetings live or from the archive on the council webcast

If you want to physically attend a committee meeting you need to email Democratic Services to reserve a space in the public gallery. Email

Public viewing spaces are limited to keep people as safe as possible during the ongoing pandemic. 

If you have reserved a space to attend, you should:

•    Wear a face mask during the meeting unless you have an exemption
•    Wash your hands before and after the meeting
•    Keep a safe social distance from other people when entering and leaving the building and during the meeting. 
You should not attend if you or someone in your household have symptoms of Covid-19, have tested positive, or if you need to self-isolate. 

We also advise you to take a symptom free rapid Lateral Flow Device Covid no earlier than the evening before the meeting and no later than one hour before the meeting.   Ideally everybody should be taking Covid tests twice weekly as part of the measures we should all be taking to keep Covid rates low as lockdown measures are relaxed.

How to get a symptom-free test

There are different ways to take up the offer of twice weekly symptom-free testing. Please choose the best that's best for you.

Pick up a test pack to take at home

If you’re happy to do the test yourself at home, you can drop-in and collect test kits to take at home. 

•    Search for a pharmacy or community collect site near you 

There’s no need to book, just find a site near you, check the opening hours and collect your tests. You will usually be given two boxes of seven tests.  You can collect test kits from Hove Town Hall.

Within the test kit you will receive instructions on how to take the test, how to record the test result and what to do if you test positive. You should record both positive and negative results.

Order test packs online

If you can’t get to a collect point or access tests through the other routes, you can order a box of home test kits online or through 119.

Book an supervised symptom-free test

Tests can also be taken at participating pharmacies across Sussex or at a dedicated testing centre at Hove Town Hall. These tests are taken under supervision of a member of staff who will then process your result for you on site within 30 minutes. 

•    Find out more and book a symptom-free test. Tests must be booked in advance.

If you don’t feel confident taking the test by yourself at home or you are taking one for the first time, we recommend booking an assisted test where staff can answer any questions you may have.

Covid safe democracy 

A smaller number of councillors will be meeting in person and sessions will be shorter and more focussed on the most urgent city issues. Some decisions will be delegated to council officers who will consult with lead councillors. 

Sessions of the full council will be attended by 14 out of 54 councillors and committee meetings will have attendance by three councillors. 

Non-voting members and people with a standing invite will continue to join virtually. 

Licensing Panels will continue to meet virtually only as they are governed by separate legal arrangements. 

People asking questions, presenting petitions or leading deputations will be allowed to attend in person when no alternative arrangement is possible, but are advised to leave after they have spoken unless they have a seat booked in the public gallery.

Members of the press will have one space reserved and other media can continue to take part virtually. 

You can view the full proposed arrangements on the council committee site. They will be discussed by councillors at the Policy & Resources Committee on Thursday.