Borough council meetings to return via Zoom next week
Councils meetings begin again next week but not in a meeting room. The 'virtual' meetings will take place on Zoom and will be live streamed via YouTube to enable the public to watch.
The Government has granted new powers to allow local authorities to hold meetings using video conferencing, rather than holding meetings in public which is the usual requirement.
Internal meetings between the borough council's officers and members are already being held remotely to maintain social distancing.
The first meeting will be the council's Cabinet Meeting on 20 May 2020 at 3pm.
The Planning Committee will be the next committee to meet virtually, using the video conferencing app Zoom - which will also allow members of the public to make representations where necessary.
The meeting will be at 9.30am on Monday, 1 June, 2020 and will also be broadcast to the public via the council's You Tube channel.
Anyone wishing to speak on a planning application must register by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org by 12 noon on the working day before the meeting, Friday 29 May 2020. However, speakers are encouraged to register as soon as possible so the council can test their ability to access the meeting in advance.
To keep the length of virtual Planning Committee meetings manageable, meetings will contain a reduced number of agenda items and the council will be holding two additional virtual Planning Committee meetings in quick succession - at 9.30am on June 15 and 29, as shown on the online meetings calendar.
Cllr Brian Long, Leader of the Borough Council of King's Lynn & West Norfolk, said: "We have been keen to resume public meetings as soon as possible and welcome the legislation that has allowed us to do this virtually. This ensures that democracy is retained and elected members can continue to represent residents.
"Using technology in this way means that decision making remains open and transparent and accessible to the the public."
Cllr Richard Blunt, Cabinet Member for Development for the Borough Council of King's Lynn & West Norfolk, said: "We have received a significant number of planning applications in recent weeks, and now that house viewings and sales are going ahead, we anticipate that the number of applications will increase. It is vital that we can take applications through the committee process as soon as possible. It has been quite a challenge for our ICT department, as we need to ensure that people can see the plans and presentations in order to make informed decisions. Testing is still taking place, but we a confident that we now have the technical solution in place."
To view the meeting visit https://democracy.west-norfolk.gov.uk/mgLocationDetails.aspx?RID=19 or simply go to You Tube and view live stream https://www.youtube.com/user/WestNorfolkBC.
Further information about virtual meetings can be found on the council's website west-norfolk.gov.uk.