Dan Peters 02 April 2020

Video conferencing first at council meeting

A council used software to help decide key planning applications in what is believed to be the first meeting of its kind in the country.

Councillors on Waltham Forest LBC’s planning committee met in a room where they could maintain social distancing to limit the spread of coronavirus, but all other participation was done using a video conferencing facility.

Cabinet member for economic growth and housing development, Cllr Simon Miller, said: ‘Government regulations meant we would not be able to hold a normal meeting due to social distancing so our officers used Microsoft Teams to allow the committee members to be in one room with officers, applicants, objectors and other observers using the video conferencing facility.

‘At one time around 60 people were taking part and the meeting was a great success showing the ingenuity of council staff to use technology to deliver democracy during the current COVID-19 emergency.’

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