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Robert Jenrick MP, secretary of state at the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), has written to council leaders about remote meetings to confirm the government will not bring forward emergency legislation on this issue at this time. NALC's chairman, Cllr Sue Baxter, has responded to express her disappointment, as has the Local Government Association (LGA) in their statement.

The government has also updated the guidance on the safe use of council buildings. NALC have expressed their diappointment at not being involved or consulted on this guidance.

NALC will be working with county officers to assess the new guidance, provide feedback to the government and give further advice. A 12-week call for evidence about the use of remote meetings has been published and all local councils and county associations are strongly urged to respond. NALC are also supporting an application by Hertfordshire County Council, Lawyers in Local Government and Association of Democratic Services Officers to the court for a declaration. This will continue despite the government’s decision and is expected to be determined before the end of April.

Government consultation seeking views on the use of the current arrangements which have allowed local authorities to hold meetings remotely or in a hybrid format during the coronavirus pandemic. Deadline for responses:

Read more about this story in NALC's News section.