Use of video conferencing to hold Council meetings during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
Since the introduction of restrictions on gatherings of people by the Government in March 2020 it has not been possible to hold standard face to face public meetings in the Wilbrahams Memorial Hall. This led to a temporary suspension of meetings and the postponement of the Annual Parish Meeting.
The Coronavirus Act 2020 has now been implemented, however, and in Section 78 it gives local authorities (including Parish Councils) the power to hold meetings without it being necessary for any of the participants or audience to be present together in the same room.
It is the intention of Great Wilbraham Parish Council to now hold Council meetings for the foreseeable future as online meetings, using the Zoom video conferencing system. This system is simple for members of the public to access, as well as participants. Information on Zoom and the process for public accessing online meetings is below.
During meetings the participants (Councillors) can be seen and heard by members of the public. A recording of the meeting will be taken by the Clerk for minuting purposes and will then be deleted. Members of the public, however, will be muted unless they are asked to participate by the Chairman, for example to ask a previously submitted question.
The public have no right to participate in the proceedings of the Council, unless permitted (invited) to do so by Council (the Chairman). Members of the Public are however encouraged and welcome to attend meetings, and a 10-minute period (which can in special circumstances be increased, if Councillors agree) will be provided at all Council and Committee meetings to put relevant questions.
For online meetings any questions must be submitted in writing to the Chairman of the Parish Council or the Parish Clerk no later than 24 hours before the scheduled start time of the relevant Council or Committee meeting.
Information on Zoom and process for the public accessing online meetings.
During the current emergency period Parish Council and Committee meetings will be held via online video conferencing using Zoom (website: zoom.us). Members of the public will be able to watch and listen via a link provided along with the agenda. The agendas will be placed in advance on the Parish Council website www.wilbrahams.co.uk
To attend the meeting check the agenda and use the web link provided to join.
There will be a separate link for each meeting. The first time you use the link it may take a few minutes to install Zoom. Follow instructions on the screen. If using tablet or smart phone you may need to download an app so allow extra time. There is no need to set up a Zoom account yourself.
Members of the public will be able to see and hear Councillors on the screen or hear on the telephone. But members of the public will be muted and so will not be heard. The exception will be if they are putting a question or are invited to speak by the Chair.
We hope that meeting this system will provide a good experience while we are unable to meet in person, but we would like to hear your feedback on the experience. Please email the Clerk, Natalie Mulvey, clerkGW@wilbrahams.co.uk with any comments or suggestions.