SOME councillors will return to the New Norfolk Courthouse for tonight’s monthly council meeting but the doors will remain closed to the public. Council meetings have been held in an online format since the outbreak of COVID-19, with only the mayor and key staff being present in the council chamber.
Some councils have provided live broadcasts of their online meetings during the coronavirus pandemic but the Derwent Valley Council has opted to record the sessions and publish them several days later. Last month saw several councillors decide to meet together in the administrative offices for the monthly meeting, along with several staff, while other councillors continued to dial-in from home. The public remained excluded.
In a Facebook post earlier this week, a council spokesman said tonight’s meeting would remain closed to the public due to the COVID-19 restrictions and density limits still in place. “For community information and transparency, we will be video recording the council meeting and will make the recording available on our website as soon as possible afterward,” they said.
The council posted the following points on Facebook:
- The June 18 meeting will start at 6pm and will be video and audio recorded and made available on the council website
- Members of the public will not be able to attend the meeting in person
- Public questions can be submitted to the Executive Assistant by email up to 5.30 pm on June 18
- Public Question Time forms are available from the council website
- The chairman of the meeting may refuse to accept a question from a member of the public or require it to be writing to be answered at a later meeting
- The agenda for the meeting is available on the council website
- More information about the council’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic is available online.