07:24 02 April 2020
Oxfordshire councils awaiting the approval of the coronavirus act, which could decide how councils might be able to continue their meetings while lockdown is in effect.
Councils across Oxfordshire are awaiting government guidance to the proposed virtual meetings while the country is in lockdown. The coronavirus act, which was pass through parliament last week, includes a section that will decide how councils might be able to continue their functions amidst the Covid-19 crisis.
To promote social distancing, all council meetings across the UK has been postponed until further notice. Under current laws, councillors are not allowed to vote or make decisions about services unless they are all in the same room. The coronavirus act will allow the government to loosen such rules based on the current situation.
An Oxfordshire County Council spokesman said: "Councils are eagerly awaiting the new regulations that will enable council meetings to take place virtually. While the detail of the regulations are awaited, consideration is being given to how technology could be used to facilitate this."
A spokesman for the ministry of housing, communities and local government added: "We intend to legislate so that... while essential council meetings should continue, these will be able to take place remotely for a temporary period."